Tesla is going through a brand new authorized hassle. Nikola Motor Firm has filed a lawsuit in Arizona alleging that Tesla’s all-electric Semi infringes on the hydrogen truck startup’s patents. The lawsuit claims Tesla willfully copied these patents in creating its electrical truck, and Nikola is looking for $2 billion in damages in return.
Nikola was based in 2014, and the corporate confirmed off its first two merchandise — an electrical four-wheel offroad automobile and a hydrogen-electric semi truck — in Could 2016. It has since added a second semi truck to its eventual lineup, teased some all-electric private watercraft, and introduced plans for a $1 billion manufacturing unit in Arizona.
The criticism filed by Nikola lays out quite a few claims that seen collectively, the corporate says show Tesla cribbed from the startup’s patents. Nikola factors to supposed similarities within the vehicles’ entrance fenders, wraparound windshields, mid-entry doorways, aerodynamic fuselage (with related drag coefficients), and extra as proof that Tesla copied its design. It additionally claims recruiter for Tesla, Aaron Hoyos, tried to poach Nikola’s chief engineer just some months after the startup unveiled its hydrogen semi truck and that that is proof that Tesla was aware of Nikola’s distinctive design options.
Nikola says that Tesla’s truck is inflicting “confusion available in the market,” and claims that “Tesla’s infringement has harmed Nikola’s skill to draw traders and companions as a result of traders can now associate with Tesla to have an alternate gasoline semi-truck.” The injury from this alleged infringement, per Nikola’s calculations, is “in extra of $2 billion.”
Nikola has sparred with Tesla earlier than, together with the way it selected to make use of the primary title of the identical well-known investor when founding the corporate. Most just lately, Nikola claimed in April that, whereas it has over $eight billion in preorders for the totally different variations of its semi vehicles, all these reservations will “be refunded 100%” and the startup “received’t use your cash to function our enterprise” — statements that look like apparent barbs at Tesla, which holds almost $1 billion in buyer deposits for the Mannequin three and different numerous introduced merchandise, in response to latest filings.
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