Coventry’s London Taxi Company loses black cab trademark battle

Coventry’s London Taxi Company loses black cab trademark battle

The Holyhead Road based motor manufacturer wanted to claim an exclusive right to the shape. Two Court of Appeal judges have ruled that the shape of a traditional London black cab is not distinctive, following a trademark dispute. Lord Justice Kitchin and Lord Justice Floyd upheld a ruling on Wednesday that was made last year by a High Court judge.

The London Taxi Company which is relocating from Holyhead Road in Coundon to a new £300m plant at Ansty, wanted to claim an exclusive right to the shape. In January 2016 Mr Justice Arnold ruled that the shape was not a “valid registered trade mark” after a High Court hearing in London. He said the shape lacked “distinctive character”.

The two appeal court judges have now dismissed the taxi company’s challenge to Mr Justice Arnold’s ruling, following a Court of Appeal hearing in London in July. Lord Justice Floyd indicated that taxi company bosses might try to take the case to the Supreme Court. A legal expert last year said Mr Justice Arnold’s decision would open doors for rivals.

Mr Justice Arnold last year also gave a thumbs-down to a bid by Nestle to register the shape of its four-finger KitKat chocolate bar as a trademark. Court of Appeal judges dismissed Nestle’s challenge to his ruling earlier this year. However, a German judge in final instance upheld the claim by Ritter, German producer of a distinctly square chocolat bar, that it was a distinctive shape.

  • Room for a similarly shaped eco-friendly taxicab? Like this Toyota?

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