Nikola Corp. Files Suit Alleging Tesla Infringement Caused More Than $2 Billion in Damages

Nikola Corp., a company that unveiled a design for an electric semi-truck in 2016, sued Tesla (TSLA) in an Arizona court saying the company infringed on some of its patents.

The suit alleges that Tesla infringed upon six designs that were patented by Nikola including its wrap windshield, mid-entry door, fuselage, fender, side cladding and overall design.

“The Tesla Semi design is substantially similar to Nikola’s unique design, and Tesla copied Nikola’s patents,” the lawsuit says, with photos of both trucks included.

Nikola’s wrap windshield is a “unique feature” in the trucking industry, is identifiable from a distance and provides drivers an unobstructed view of the road, the suit said. Nikola alleges Tesla copied the design and even advertised the view drivers had from its vehicle.

The Nikola truck’s fuselage is also aerodynamic and is a unique design in the industry. The Nikola One truck has a 0.37 drag coefficient, while the Tesla truck has a drag coefficient of 0.36, a fact advertised by Tesla, the lawsuit says. Nikola’s truck has a mid-entry door, “another first in the trucking industry,” as does the Tesla truck.

“Nikola has been harmed by Tesla’s infringement in excess of $2 billion,” the suit alleges.

A Tesla spokesperson told Fortune that it’s “patently obvious” the lawsuit has no merit.

Nikola said on Dec. 30, 2015, it filed a series of design patents for its electric Class 8 heavy truck with the US Patent and Trademark Office. In May 2016 it posted its design on its website and issued a release with an image of the Nikola One semi.

The suit alleges that by May 9, 2016, Tesla Chief Executive Elon Musk had seen the image, but the company hadn’t said it was planning on building an electric truck. Seventy-two days after the Nikola truck design was released, Musk announced that Tesla was in the “early stages” of developing a semi.

By Aug. 31, 2016, Nikola had 300 orders for more than 7,000 of its trucks with a total value of more than $2.3 billion. The company’s prototype was unveiled in Salt Lake City on Dec. 1 of that year. Additional orders rolled in bringing the total value to more than $4 billion, the suit says.

In April 2017, Tesla released a teaser image of its semi, but the following November Nikola sent a letter to the company demanding that it not unveil its truck until a determination on whether it infringed on Nikola’s copyrights were resolved, the suit says. Tesla didn’t respond, it says.

Still, on Nov. 16, Tesla unveiled its truck and “almost immediately” received orders and saw its market share jump by about $2 billion, the suit says.

“Tesla has never claimed that its design was unique,” Nikola alleges. “Upon information and belief, Tesla does not have any patents protecting the design of its semi-truck and has not filed any applications for design patent protection.”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


000-017   000-080   000-089   000-104   000-105   000-106   070-461   100-101   100-105  , 100-105  , 101   101-400   102-400   1V0-601   1Y0-201   1Z0-051   1Z0-060   1Z0-061   1Z0-144   1z0-434   1Z0-803   1Z0-804   1z0-808   200-101   200-120   200-125  , 200-125  , 200-310   200-355   210-060   210-065   210-260   220-801   220-802   220-901   220-902   2V0-620   2V0-621   2V0-621D   300-070   300-075   300-101   300-115   300-135   3002   300-206   300-208   300-209   300-320   350-001   350-018   350-029   350-030   350-050   350-060   350-080   352-001   400-051   400-101   400-201   500-260   640-692   640-911   640-916   642-732   642-999   700-501   70-177   70-178   70-243   70-246   70-270   70-346   70-347   70-410   70-411   70-412   70-413   70-417   70-461   70-462   70-463   70-480   70-483   70-486   70-487   70-488   70-532   70-533   70-534   70-980   74-678   810-403   9A0-385   9L0-012   9L0-066   ADM-201   AWS-SYSOPS   C_TFIN52_66   c2010-652   c2010-657   CAP   CAS-002   CCA-500   CISM   CISSP   CRISC   EX200   EX300   HP0-S42   ICBB   ICGB   ITILFND   JK0-022   JN0-102   JN0-360   LX0-103   LX0-104   M70-101   MB2-704   MB2-707   MB5-705   MB6-703   N10-006   NS0-157   NSE4   OG0-091   OG0-093   PEGACPBA71V1   PMP   PR000041   SSCP   SY0-401   VCP550