Iceland's famous Viking clap sets off trademark dispute

David Cooper 26/03/2018
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Iceland have become synonymous with their fans' famous chant.

Iceland have become known not just for their plucky, thrilling displays on the football pitch but also for their raucous fans, whose famous slow clap and chant is one of the things most loved about Icelandic football around the world.

Yet that chant is now the source of a trademark dispute in the Scandinavian nation.

Cartoonist Hugleikur Dagsson had begun selling T-shirts with a stick figure wearing an Iceland jersey and chanting “Hú”. However, the Iceland trademark office has ruled that a trademark on the word “Húh” also applies to this word, meaning Dagsson can now only continue to sell the T-shirts if he pays a royalty to the original trademark holder, whose trademark is registered until 2026.

Understandably, the cartoonist is upset at this turn of events, writing on Facebook that “The Grinch has stolen the Viking clap.”

Dagsson noted that the trademark is grammatically incorrect, as an “h” is never added to the end of words in Icelandic.

But as a deeper point, the cartoonist believes nobody should be able to own the word in any case, sayng”I thought we had plundered the clap from Scotland like real Vikings.”

He says he shall continue to sell the T-shirts, as half the profits go to the Icelandic Cancer Society.

The Facebook post is an attempt to reach the trademark holder.

Dagsson's T-shirt is at the centre of a storm.

Dagsson’s T-shirt is at the centre of a storm.

“The ball is in his court. So we decided to tell Facebook and see what happens,” Dagsson told the Reykjavik Grapevine.

Iceland made a stunning run to the quarter-finals of Euro 2016 and followed that up by qualifying for the World Cup for the first time in their history.

Their fans will be descending upon Russia this summer – hopefully with as many of these T-shirts as possible.

*Image taken from Hugleikur Dagsson’s website.

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All eyes were on Luis Suarez and Gareth Bale during the final of the China Cup.

The Barcelona and Real Madrid stars squared off in the encounter only for Paris Saint-Germain hitman Edinson Cavani to decide it, scoring the only goal in Uruguay’s win over Wales.

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LUIS SUAREZ

Looking back on this game, Suarez will feel disappointed not to add to his 50 international goals for Uruguay. The striker started up front alongside Cavani and the two-pronged attack posed a constant threat for the Welsh defence.

Suarez got on the end of a low cross as early as in the second minute but was only able to strike the upright from 12 yards out. Much to his chagrin, the woodwork would deny him on a second occasion later in the first half.

His relentless pressure on the defence was rewarded when he was presented with a sloppy back-pass but having rounded Wayne Hennessey, he struck the post again with an empty net at his mercy.

As if that wasn’t enough to leave the Barcelona star grinding his teeth, a composed finish in the second half was ruled out for offside. However, it’s his link-up play that came to the fore and made an impact.

His cross in the first half nearly found Cavani from close range. For the goal, he peeled away from James Chester excellently before playing in Cristian Rodriguez who laid it on a plate for Cavani.

Rating – 7/10

Luis Suarez (l) should've got on the score sheet

Luis Suarez (l) should’ve got on the score sheet

GARETH BALE

Bale made a bright start to the game and promptly put Wales on the front foot with a blocked shot from inside the box in the opening minute. The Real Madrid star consistently threatened to burst into life with a few fine touches and spectacular moves but every attempt to drive his side forward eventually fell apart.

Following his hat-trick against China, the South Americans were no doubt wary of the Welshman as well. He was guilty of trying to force the issue though and on one occasion, his intercepted cross-field pass nearly resulted in a goal for Uruguay.

While he was permitted to plenty of time on the ball against China, dwelling on it in this encounter swiftly saw him closed down and snuffed out. He perhaps could have been more diligent in possession but it has to be said that he didn’t receive too much assistance either.

The Welsh forward line weren’t exactly a picture of cohesion and were too far apart for long periods to engage in any kind of link-up play. Instead, Wales restricted to crosses and shots from range to try and get back on level terms.

Rating – 6/10

Gareth Bale (r) didn't have time on the ball

Gareth Bale (r) didn’t have time on the ball

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Lucas Hernandez’s decision to play for France instead of Spain, where he has spent his life since he was four years old, was a bold move.

The Atletico Madrid defender was called up to the national team by coach Didier Deschamps and didn’t have to think much about what he wanted to do.

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