Amicus Brief

Cases R 1613/2019 Iceland Foods Limited v. Icelandic Trademark Holding ehf and R 1238/2019-1 Iceland Foods Limited v. Islandsstofa (Promote Iceland), The Icelandic Ministry for Foreign Affairs and SA – Business Iceland

Published: July 2, 2021


Grand Board of Appeal of the European Union Intellectual Property Office

Our Position

The fundamental principles of public international law do not recognize an exclusive right of countries to geographic terms. Country names or other geographical terms may serve as an indicator of the origin of goods/services and be consequently registered as a trademark. It is, however, for the relevant court/tribunal to assess, on a case-by-case basis, whether a specific name of a country or other geographical term would be perceived as non-distinctive or descriptive in relation to the specific goods/services, by applying the standard threshold which is applicable to all other signs.