×

Nikola Motor sues Tesla alleging design patent violation

  • Nikola Motor Co, which makes hydrogen-powered semi trucks, filed a lawsuit on Tuesday against electric automaker Tesla Inc alleging design patent infringements.
  • Tesla's Semi, its first electric heavy duty truck, is "substantially" similar to Nikola's design, Nikola Motor said in a court filing.
  • A Tesla spokesman rejected the claims.
Tesla CEO Elon Musk shows off the Tesla Semi as he unveils the company's new electric semi truck during a presentation in Hawthorne, California, U.S., November 16, 2017.
Alexandria Sage | Reuters
Tesla CEO Elon Musk shows off the Tesla Semi as he unveils the company's new electric semi truck during a presentation in Hawthorne, California, U.S., November 16, 2017.

Nikola Motor, which makes hydrogen-powered semi trucks, filed a lawsuit on Tuesday against electric automaker Tesla alleging design patent infringements.

Tesla's Semi, its first electric heavy duty truck, is "substantially" similar to Nikola's design, Nikola Motor said in a court filing.

Salt Lake City, Utah-based Nikola claims it was issued six design patents by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office between February and April 2018 for its wrap windshield, mid-entry door, fuselage, fender, side cladding and the overall design of the Nikola One.

"Nikola estimates its harm from Tesla's infringement to be in excess of $2 billion," it said in the filing.

A Tesla spokesman rejected the claims.

"It's patently obvious there is no merit to this lawsuit," a Tesla spokesman told Reuters in an email.

Tesla Chief Executive Elon Musk unveiled the Tesla Semi, its electric heavy duty truck, in November. The company has not given much details of the Semi, but has said that the truck would begin production in 2019.