Iceland is taking legal action against Iceland Foods Ltd over the British supermarket chain's trademark registration for the word "Iceland".
Iceland's foreign ministry said the Europe-wide registration had often left Icelandic firms unable to describe their products as Icelandic and the government had therefore asked the European Union Intellectual Property Office (EU-IPO) to invalidate it.
"Iceland Foods has aggressively pursued and won multiple cases against Icelandic companies which use 'Iceland' in their representation or as part of their trademark, even in cases when the products and services do not compete," it said in a statement.
The goal is to ensure the right of Icelandic companies to use the word "Iceland" in relation to their goods and services, it added.
The ministry said the north Atlantic island state had over the past years tried unsuccessfully to resolve the situation through talks with Iceland Foods, which specialises in frozen food.
A ministry spokeswoman said the government did not know how long the process at the EU-IPO would take.
A spokeswoman at Iceland Foods did not offer an immediate comment when contacted by Reuters.