Iceland (the country) mulls suing Iceland (the supermarket) over name

Frozen food retailer Iceland has defended its name after it emerged the Icelandic government was considering legal action to protect its identity. The chain, which employs more than 20,000 people at more than 850 stores in Britain and 30 others in Europe, says it is not aware that the two have ever been mixed up. The company said on Friday: “Iceland Foods has traded under the Iceland name in the UK since 1970, and is today one of the UK’s most recognised brands. We have also traded as Iceland for many years in other EU countries, and in non-EU countries, including Iceland itself.”

We are not aware that our use of the Iceland name has ever caused any confusion with Iceland the country

Iceland (the company) statement

The legal challenge comes from Promote Iceland, part of the country’s foreign ministry, which said it was concerned companies were able to register the name “Iceland” across Europe. A spokesman for the ministry said: “I can confirm that this is being looked into, but no decision has been made.” However, the country has had an, ahem, frosty relationship with its business namesake, which was controlled up until 2009 by Icelandic retail conglomerate Baugur. After it collapsed and was taken over by Icelandic banks, Iceland founder and chief executive Malcolm Walker completed a management buyout in 2014.