The Danish word "taxa" (in English: taxi) not subject to an exclusive right

On 9 April 2015 the Danish Maritime and Commercial High Court passed its judgment on whether the Danish taxi company TAXA 4x35 had an exclusive right to the Danish word "taxa" and, if so, whether Click A Taxi ApS had infringed such right.

The Court found that old case law stipulates that the Danish word "taxa" originates from taxis using a taximeter, that the word was included in the Danish spelling dictionary "retskrivningsordbogen" in 1956 and it still is and that a search for the word on shows that the word is a synonym for the Danish word "hyrevogn" and "taxi".

Despite the information produced by TAXA 4x35 about, for instance, articles specifically related to this line of business about the difference between "taxa" and "taxi" and statements supporting TAXA 4x35's use of the word "TAXA" both internally and externally, the Court found that it had not been proved that the general public would find that the word "taxa" was a distinctive feature of TAXA 4x35 and not a generic term. Among other things, the Court took into consideration that it had to be assumed when studying the production of evidence that "taxa" is perceived and used as a synonym for "taxi".

The Court consequently found that TAXA 4x35 had not obtained a trademark right to the Danish word "taxa" through regular usage. It was also found that TAXA 4x35 did not have an exclusive right to the Danish word "taxa" under section 18 of the Danish Marketing Practices Act. As a consequence, Click A Taxi ApS's usage of the Danish word "taxa" as a distinctive feature in connection with taxi trips in Denmark was not unlawful.

But the Court found that Click A Taxi ApS's usage of the designation "Københavns største taxa-selskab" (in English: Copenhagen's biggest taxi company") in its Google ad was misleading and wrong and consequently in conflict with sections 1, 3 and 5 of the Danish Marketing Practices Act. The Court took into account that TAXA 4x35 is Copenhagen's biggest taxi company and that such fact has a high marketing value as it is im-portant how quickly a customer can get a taxi that he/she has hired. Click A Taxi ApS is not a taxi company and even if indirectly it is perceived as such, it is not Copenhagen's biggest.

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