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Iceland seeks to freeze out eponymous supermarket chain in trademark dispute

Frozen foods specialist Iceland is facing a fight for its identity after the Icelandic government mounted legal action against the trademark on the island.

Iceland (the grocer) has been trading for the past 46 years and has its head office in Deeside, Flintshire. It currently owns the European trademark for trading under the name Iceland.

That peace is now at an end however after Iceland (the country) launched a legal challenge at the European Union Intellectual Property Office to ensure that its companies can use the word ‘Iceland’ when advertising their goods and services.

In a statement the Nordic state said: “The government of Iceland is concerned that our country's businesses are unable to promote themselves across Europe in association with their place of origin - a place of which we are rightly proud and enjoys a very positive national branding.

"This untenable situation has caused harm to Icelandic businesses, especially its small and growing companies."

The Icelandic nation said it had sought to negotiate with Iceland stores but had been given the cold shoulder with ‘unrealistic and unacceptable’ demands. An accusation which Iceland foods frostily denies, insisting it has received ‘…no recent approaches to achieve an amicable resolution of this issue’.

The remote nation briefly had its way during Euro2016 however when some stores temporarily rebranded as 'England'.