Court of Appeal : London taxi design is not a valid registered trademark

Polly Hill, Associate in our Commercial Dispute Resolution department provides a brief overview of this decision.

On 1 November 2017 the Court of Appeal dismissed The London Taxi Company’s appeal where they claimed exclusive rights to the black cab shape to prevent production of the original shape by a rival firm on the basis that this infringed their intellectual property rights.

My blog earlier this year noted how Nestle lost a similar trademark fight over the shape of its KitKat chocolate bar.

These two recent rulings show how hard it is at present for manufacturers to protect and trademark their shapes which in many cases are their brand, even when shapes are quirky.

Rival manufacturer, Ecotive said it is now in a position to put its electric Metrocab into production. The Court of Appeal judges have indicated that Supreme Court justices might be asked to consider the case. Without the same, the London Taxi Company is powerless to prevent competitors producing similar looking shapes.

This blog was written by:  Polly Hill

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