Trademark News & Screw-ups Iceland (The Country) Wins Trademark Dispute Against Iceland (The Supermarket)

A tough decision that didn't have to be so difficult. Had Iceland (the country) bothered to oppose the registration of the Iceland trademark by the supermarket back in the 1970s, it would have been a total no-brainer. There's no reason why a store should have a monopoly over the name of a country. What made this problematic is that the supermarket chain invested millions upon millions of dollars to build and promote their brand for almost 50 years and many of those who frequent these supermarkets have come to associate the name Iceland with the store, not with the country. Eventually, the court needed to make a determination of what would cause less harm overall—preventing vendors from a whole country from using the country's name in the names of their products and services or preventing a chain of supermarkets from protecting the brand they've been building for half a century. The lesson here is: if you let someone rip off your brand for a long enough time, you are putting yourself in a very difficult situation.

The video below features Andrei Mincov's commentary of this article.

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