London Taxi Company loses appeal to trademark black cab shape

Court of Appeal upholds 2016 High Court ruling preventing the London Taxi Company from trademarking its shape

London Taxi Company - new taxis

The London Taxi Company has lost an appeal to retain exclusive rights to the shape of its legendary ‘black cab’, with the Court of Appeal stating the shape is ‘not distinctive enough’.

According to news agency Press Association, the Coventry-based manufacturer - now trading as the London Electric Vehicle Company (LEVC) - attempted to trademark its distinctive black cab shape to stop rival manufacturers producing their own black cab variants.

• New TX London Taxi ride review

Lord Justice Kitchin and Lord Justice Floyd upheld a ruling made by high court judge Mr Justice Arnold, who in January 2016 ruled that the shape was not a “valid registered trademark”.

Wednesday’s case dismissal paves the way for LEVC’s rival Frazer-Nash Research, which along with Ecotive, produces the hybrid-electric Metrocab, which bares resemblance to its LEVC black cab rival. While the Court of Appeal dismissed the trademark case, the London Taxi Company may now take its case to the Supreme Court.

• New 'TX' electric London Taxi priced at £55,599

Lawyer Mike Gardner outlined how difficult it is for manufacturers to trademark its designs. He said: “The London Taxi Company has been trying to prevent a rival manufacturer from producing a new style of London taxi which it claims infringes its intellectual property rights in the original shape.” 

“The case illustrates how difficult it can be for anyone to obtain a permanent monopoly to protect the shape of something as a brand – even where that shape is iconic.”

What do you think of the latest ruling on the black cab shape? Let us know below!

Most Popular

New 2021 BMW M3 launched with huge grille and 503bhp
BMW 3 Series M3 Coupe

New 2021 BMW M3 launched with huge grille and 503bhp

The new sixth-generation BMW M3 Competition saloon gets a 503bhp straight-six engine and four-wheel-drive
22 Sep 2020
Energy firms want the right to switch off electric cars charging at home
Electric cars

Energy firms want the right to switch off electric cars charging at home

New powers being sought to allow energy providers to turn off high-drain devices to manage electricity network
18 Sep 2020
New Honda Civic Type R 2020 review
Honda Civic Type R

New Honda Civic Type R 2020 review

We find out if the revised Honda Civic Type R can stay at the top of the hot hatch class
22 Sep 2020