The makers of London’s traditional black cabs have lost a trademark case against a rival that is building an electric cab.
The London Taxi Company had argued that the Metrocab, developed by Frazer-Nash Research and Ecotive, looked too similar to their design and was just a copy.
But a judge at the High Court in London dismissed the case saying that the original black cab lacks an “inherent distinctive character”.
The electric hybrid Metrocabs are already being tested in London, with a fleet of five, and are due to hit the streets in larger numbers later this year.
The London Taxi Company, which is owned by Chinese firm Geely, is also developing an electric version.
The authorities in London have said they want all new taxis to be zero-emission vehicles by 2018