Trademark registered by the LTC in 1998.
The London Taxi Company (LTC) launched in 2006 a lawsuit against Frazer-Nash and Ecotive, companies that are working together to launch an electric taxi called "Metrocab" on the market.
LTC recorded the design of the classic London black taxi in 1998 and claims that "Metrocab" deliberately rejects this design, thus deriving an unfair advantage from its notoriety.
However, the Supreme Court has denied that the London taxi line constitutes a distinctive character and, therefore, the mark registered by LTC can not be considered a valid mark.
However, if LTC had legally registered the 3D mark, the taxi designed by Frazer-Nash and Ecotive would have violated the trademark registered by LTC; in this way the "classic black London taxi" would have boasted of a distinctive capacity to avoid confusion with the product it represents.
LTC has appealed, but its national and community registered trademarks have been declared invalid by the Supreme Court and by the Court of Appeal for lack of originality of the classic English black taxi.
As a consequence, the trademark registered by LTC no longer represents an obstacle for third parties and now "Metrocab" can conquer London with its electric taxis.