Iceland v Iceland?

This does not seem like the standard name of a case; Iceland v Iceland pertains to a British grocery store using “Iceland” as the name of their store. The Icelandic government is not pleased and is attempting to have the trademark declared invalid. Iceland’s trademark law bars corporations from registering state emblems or symbols similar to these emblems  (Trademark Act No 45/1997 Article 14(1)); this had led to Icelandic companies having difficulty marketing their food as Icelandic. So how would this case hold up in Canada? Relevant Canadian  legislation bars companies from misleading individuals as to the geographical origin of goods (Trademark Act, 7(d)(ii)) but case law states a major determinant in deciding trademark infringement, pertaining to geographical regions, is whether or not the public would believe the goods originated from that region ( T.G. Bright Co v Canada). In Canada, each party could make a strong case. This case highlights the competing claims of protecting national symbols but allowing for innovation.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s