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Tesla Sued for $2 Billion by Startup Over Electric Truck Design

Tesla Sued for $2 Billion by Startup Over Electric Truck Design
(Piotr Trojanowski/Dreamstime)

Wednesday, 02 May 2018 09:39 AM

Nikola Motor Co., a hydrogen truck startup, is suing Tesla Inc. for $2 billion, alleging billionaire Elon Musk’s company willfully infringed on its patents.

The lawsuit filed by Nikola Corp. on Tuesday in Arizona alleged that Tesla copied its designs for an electric semi truck unveiled in November.

The four-year-old startup alleges similarities in the front fenders, wraparound windshields, doors, and other aerodynamic features of its Nikola One hydrogen-electric hybrid truck, revealed in 2016.

Nikola said it sent a letter to Tesla after becoming aware of the design similarities, demanding it not unveil its semi until the infringement had been resolved. The startup, which is requesting a jury trial, said it received no response. Nikola claims the similarities have created confusion in the marketplace and hurt its ability to attract partners and investors.

“It’s patently obvious there is no merit to this lawsuit,” a spokeswoman for Tesla said by email.

Reservations for the Nikola One, slated to begin production in 2020, are currently worth more than $6.3 billion, according to the company. Tesla plans to start production of its semi next year.

Nikola and Tesla both take their names from the same famous inventor, Nikola Tesla.

The case is Nikola Corp. v. Tesla, Inc., 2:18-cv-01344-GMS, U.S. District Court, District of Arizona.

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Nikola Motor Co., a hydrogen truck startup, is suing Tesla Inc. for $2 billion, alleging billionaire Elon Musk's company willfully infringed on its patents.
tesla, startup, electric, truck, design
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2018-39-02
Wednesday, 02 May 2018 09:39 AM
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