Tesla Motors has been hit with a $2 billion lawsuit for allegedly infringing Nikola Motor Company’s patents protecting the design of a fully electric truck. Nikola accuses Tesla of stealing its patents to create an electric semi. It is now eyeing $2 billion in damages.
Tesla responded to a request for comment by saying that the lawsuit has no merit.
We are not commenting because it is in the courts. The lawsuit speaks for itself,
Nikola is a startup that was founded four years ago. Its first products included a hydrogen semi-truck and an electric vehicle for off-road. The hydrogen semi-truck, which was fully electric, was launched in 2016.
Meanwhile, Nikola designed a second semi and unveiled a plan to invest $1 billion in a plant in Arizona.
Nikola Accuses Tesla Motors of Stealing Its Designs
According to Nikola’s lawsuit, Tesla designed an all-electric truck that infringed its patents. The startup claims that the vehicles’ front fenders, doors, windshields, the fuselage, and many other parts were copied by Tesla.
Nikola also noted that its rival tried to convince its chief engineer to join its team just months after the startup unveiled the semi-truck. This means that Tesla’s leadership was well aware of Nikola’s innovative designs for its trucks.
Nikola first found that Tesla Motors stole some of its designs after some of spy-shots of Tesla’s new truck were leaked online in November 2017. The company claims that it asked Tesla to cease and desist and postpone the announcement at the time, but with no success.
Nikola accuses Tesla of creating confusion among customers and potential investors because potential business partners can ink deals with Tesla for the electric semi-truck.
Nikola estimates its losses to stand at more than $2 billion.
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