Tesla Semi rival Nikola sues for $2 billion over alleged patent infringement

Discussion in 'In the News' started by simonalvarez0987, May 1, 2018.

  1. simonalvarez0987

    simonalvarez0987 Active Member

    Dec 21, 2017
    #1 simonalvarez0987, May 1, 2018
    Last edited by a moderator: May 2, 2018


    Tesla Semi rival Nikola Motors has filed a $2 billion lawsuit against the California-based electric car and energy company. According to trucking startup, the Tesla Semi’s design infringes on the patents of the Nikola One, its hydrogen fuel cell-powered sleeper cab.

    Nikola’s complaint outlines several design aspects of the Semi that were allegedly copied from the One. Among these are the Semi’s wraparound windshield, mid-entry door, front fenders, and the electric truck’s aerodynamic body. The similar drag coefficient between the Nikola One (0.37) and the Tesla Semi (0.36) was also cited as further evidence that the Elon Musk-led company copied Nikola’s design.

    The lawsuit also stated that Tesla, at one point, attempted to hire Nikola’s chief engineer not long after the One was unveiled to the public. Furthermore, a cease and desist letter was sent to Tesla before the unveiling of the Semi, asking the Elon Musk-led company to hold off on the vehicle’s announcement until its patent issues with Nikola were resolved.  Tesla, however, opted to ignore the request.

    Overall, Nikola claims that the Tesla Semi is causing “confusion in the market,” and it is already harming its business. The startup further stated that the similarities between the Semi and the One would result in damages to the Nikola brand, considering the problems exhibited by Tesla’s vehicles. An excerpt from Nikola’s lawsuit could be found below.

    “Tesla’s design has caused confusion among customers. The confusion has diverted sales from Nikola to Tesla. Further, any problems with the Tesla Semi will be attributed to the Nikola One, causing harm to the Nikola brand.

    “For example, Tesla has had problems with its batteries starting fires and its autonomous features causing fatal accidents. Should these problems arise with the Tesla Semi, the market will attribute these problems to Nikola because of the similarities between the two vehicles.

    “Customers will also impute the Tesla Semi’s limitations (distance and charging time) to Nikola, which will make Nikola’s product less appealing to customers. Nikola and Tesla are offering competing technology solutions (hybrid versus pure electric). Diverting sales from Nikola to Tesla decreases the chance that Nikola’s technology will be adopted as the standard for alternative fuel semi-trucks.

    “Tesla’s infringement has harmed Nikola’s ability to attract investors and partners because investors can now partner with Tesla to have an alternative fuel semi-truck. Nikola estimates its harm from Tesla’s infringement to be in excess of $2 billion.”

    In a statement to The Verge, a Tesla spokesperson dismissed the lawsuit.

    “It’s patently obvious there is no merit to this lawsuit,” the Tesla spokesperson said.

    Nikola has been raising its anti-Tesla game as of late. Just recently, we reported on the startup throwing shade at the Elon Musk-led company by stating that it would be refunding 100% of the reservations placed for its hydrogen fuel cell-powered trucks. Seemingly taking a dig at Tesla’s finances, Nikola boasted that it had already received more than $8 billion worth of pre-orders for its vehicles, and that has never used any deposit money to fund its operations.

    Article: Tesla Semi rival Nikola sues for $2 billion over alleged patent infringement
  2. Mr Decky

    Mr Decky New Member

    Nov 6, 2017
    Let’s see Tesla gives away its patents and Nikola is trying to sue for their patents, hate much Nikola?

    Nikola for sure is worried and probably has a very sketchy future and is grasping at straws now, especially after their poor PR stunt of trying to get more deposits by refunding customers. They would just end up with a load of flakey reservation holders.
    • Agree Agree x 1
  3. Tiger

    Tiger New Member

    May 7, 2017
    #3 Tiger, May 2, 2018
    Last edited: May 2, 2018
    Great marketing opportunity for Nikola Tesla! Great purchasing advice for customers to choose "Tesla decreases the chance that Nikola’s technology will be adopted as the standard" and also "investors can now partner with Tesla to have an alternative fuel semi-truck". They said it themselves, they are out - talk about throwing in the towel and out with a bang.
    • Like Like x 1
  4. hgd09071971

    hgd09071971 Guest

    So ... Nikola sues Tesla for offering a better product?
    • Funny Funny x 2
  5. edhart2020

    edhart2020 New Member

    Oct 20, 2017
    Only a company that is closing up shop would conduct such a negative marketing campaign. IMNSHO, Nikola chose the wrong energy source technology around which to design their program....and now they are paying for it. It is not too late for them to switch to battery electric it they care to participate in the future...but their lawsuit screams, \"We are dead....but we are going to grasp for a payout to leave.\"
    • Agree Agree x 1
  6. mail2larryh

    mail2larryh Guest

    This is a joke right??? Most of the sedans on the rode today LOOK ALMOST EXACTLY ALIKE (except the beautiful Teslas) from a hundred feet away. If based on Nikola\'s grounds for suit, auto companies should be suing each other into oblivion based on styling infringement alone.
    • Agree Agree x 2
  7. Bernard

    Bernard New Member

    Jul 16, 2017
    It should indeed be a joke, but consider the i-phone legal saga: Apple sued Samsung for infringement on the shape of the rectangle and the amount of rounding on the corners (among other things) of its galaxy phones and won.
    Design follows function and scientific principles (aerodynamics, ergonomics, etc.), but lawyers don't...
    Still, unlike Apple, Nikola lacks the financial resources for a protracted court battle.
  8. Michael Russo

    Michael Russo Administrator

    Dec 16, 2016
    Pau, France
    I always raise eyebrows at suing-trigger folks and companies... :rolleyes::rolleyes:
    • Funny Funny x 1
  9. Roy_H

    Roy_H Member

    Jan 12, 2018
    Ontario, Canada
    So, in the USA, you can sue a company just because they\'re competing with you. Don\'t let consumers decide which product to buy let the court decide. Not so much different from NADA using courts and laws to keep Tesla out of their state. Land of the free!

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