Czech courts on Uber and Taxify
After a renewed preliminary injunction, inspired by the abductive reasoning of the Czech Constitutional Court which banned Uber from operating its services in Brno, the Czech courts issued another verdict against alternative taxi service Taxify, an Estonian company. The company received a verdict from the Municipal Court in Prague, banning the company’s services in Prague until Taxify fully meets the conditions applicable to a taxi service. This is the first Czech verdict dealing with the actual essence of alternative taxi services.
Taxify defended itself in court mainly with the line of reasoning that it is only the developer of a mobile application connecting drivers and passengers, and is not responsible for the way the application is used. However, this argumentation was not accepted by the judge: in her decision, she inclined to the CJEU decision concerning Uber in Spain.
“The primary purpose of the application service is to mediate transport, not to mediate the contact between the driver and the individual passengers, and therefore this activity cannot be considered as an information society service,” said the judge.
Under the verdict, Taxify must fulfil all conditions, like any other taxi service, including taxi licences for drivers, taximeters and illuminated taxi top signs. However, this is a first-instance decision and Taxify plans to appeal, expecting the litigation will even reach the Czech Supreme Court.