Iceland are known for their “Hú” chant, made famous by fans dressed as Vikings at the European Championship finals in 2016, and this week it is at the forefront of a trademark case.
After the rise in popularity of the chant, Icelandic cartoonist Hugleikur Dagsson produced T-shirts featuring it. Dagsson quickly found out that he can’t sell T-shirts featuring the chant made famous by the country’s football fans because the word has been trademarked.
It transpires that a 2016 trademark on the word “Húh” also applies to “Hú”, after the Icelandic trademark office ruled that they are the same word, and Dagsson has been told to stop printing the shirts or pay a royalty to the trademark holder.
It’s a move that has angered the cartoonist, writing on Facebook that “The Grinch has stolen the Viking clap”, noting that the trademark is grammatically incorrect, as Icelandic never adds the letter ‘h’ to the end of words. “Secondly,” he says, suggesting that nobody should own the word, “I thought we had plundered the clap from Scotland like real Vikings.”
Despite the notice, Dagsson is undeterred and says that he will continue selling the contentious shirts, telling Reykjavik Grapevine that half of the profits will go to the Icelandic Cancer Society.
“Well, the ball is his [the trademark holder’s] court. So we decided to tell Facebook about this and see what happens,” he said. The patent office has not commented on the row, but documentation shows that the word “Húh” is registered until September 2026.