Black Cab Clones Expected After Judge's 'Not Distinctive Enough' Ruling

By Gary Cutlack on at

A court struggle over the launch of unofficial variants of London's black cabs has been decided in favour of those that want to create their own versions of the jellymould taxis, with a judge finding that the shape of the car's shell isn't distinctive enough to be trademarked.

Which is some surprise, given it's one of the most distinctive car shapes on the planet. The judge said the black cab style is only a "variation of the typical shape of a car" and that the black cab is actually "devoid of inherent distinctive character" and the trademark claims of its maker that cover its shape are therefore invalid.

The ruling means that the "green" hybrid petrol/electric Metrocab is now free to be sold and operate in the city, despite the London Taxi Company -- the maker of the black cab -- feeling it's a rip off of its current model's design. The LTC will have its own green electric TX5 model ready for sale in 2017, when passengers in the city not converted to the Uber side will have a choice of electric models. [Guardian]

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