Supermarket Iceland to send bosses to Reykjavik in bid to resolve trademark row

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Supermarket Iceland is set to send a "high-level delegation" to Reykjavik this week in hopes of thawing relations with the Icelandic government after the country launched legal action against the chain over the use of its name. 

Iceland Foods says is urgently seeking a meeting with Iceland's foreign ministry in order to lay out "constructive proposals" that could help solve the dispute and resume a "peaceful coexistence" that it says prevailed for nearly half a century.

It comes after the Nordic nation confirmed last week that it has mounted a legal challenge against the supermarket at the European Union Intellectual Property Office with the goal of ''ensuring the right of Icelandic companies to use the word 'Iceland' in relation to their goods and services''.

Iceland claims that the supermarket has ''aggressively pursued'' and won multiple cases against Icelandic companies which use the word Iceland as part of their trademark, ''even in cases when the products and services do not compete''.

The supermarket's founder and chief Malcolm Walker said: "A high-level delegation from Iceland (the company) is preparing to fly to Reykjavik this week to begin negotiations, and we very much hope for a positive response and an early resolution of this issue."

While the company's legal director will be making the trip, a media spokesman for Iceland said Mr Walker will not be part of the delegation.

The chief executive added: "We registered Iceland as our company name in 1970 and we have coexisted with the country called Iceland very happily ever since. They have made no contact with us to raise any concerns about trademark issues since 2012."

"We have no desire whatsoever to stand in the way of Iceland (the country) making use of their own name to promote their own products, so long as it does not conflict or cause confusion with our own business.

"I am sure that there is ample scope for an agreement that will allow both parties to continue to live and work amicably alongside each other."