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.
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