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At least in London, Uber's app is legal

Britain's High Court has ruled in favor of the popular yet controversial taxi-hailing app Uber, saying the way it calculates its fares is legal. The decision allows Uber cabs to continue operating normally in London.

London's taxi drivers association, the LTDA, was quick to lodge an appeal on Friday after the court said Uber drivers' fare-calculating software did not amount to a taxi meter and was therefore in accordance with British law.

London transport authorities had asked the court to clarify the law which prevents private for-hire vehicles from charging passengers the same way as the capital's famous black cabs.

Judge Duncan Ouseley ultimately ruled that Uber's app could not be classified as a taxi meter because it relayed GPS information to a server, which then determines the fare - something a regular taxi meter does not do.

"A taxi meter … is not a device which receives GPS signals in the course of a journey, and forwards GPS data to a server located outside of the vehicle, which calculates a fare … and sends the fare information back to the device," he said.

Uber has drawn the ire of taxi drivers and some regulators around the world who contend the San Francisco-based company is undercutting the traditional taxi industry.

Two Uber managers are on trial in France over accusations they subverted pro-taxi laws with the company's UberPop services. The European Commission is also examining bans on the ride-hailing app in France and Germany.

cjc/uhe (Reuters, dpa)