Trademark hurdle for Tesla Motors in China

Tesla Motors (TSLA -3%) is being taken to court by businessman Zhan Baosheng over the use of the name Tesla in China.

The trademark case will be heard by the Beijing Third Intermediate Court in early August at which point it could rule on Tesla's ability to sell and market in the nation, although a settlement before then is seen as likely.

What to watch: Tesla's performance in China is at the very heart of the bull vs. bear debate on the EV automaker. Though early sales results will be widely dissected, it will be Tesla's ability to find a mass market niche that could be the long-term story.

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Comments (14)
  • chickenmantesta
    , contributor
    Comments (85) | Send Message
    I thought the Chinese didn't care about intellectual property, copyrights, or trademarks? Oh, yes, only if it benefits the Chinese...
    8 Jul 2014, 10:34 AM Reply Like
  • Clayton Rulli
    , contributor
    Comments (3433) | Send Message
    what a joke. Have they ever heard of Nicola Tesla?
    8 Jul 2014, 10:36 AM Reply Like
  • Dampflok
    , contributor
    Comments (1416) | Send Message
    This was known for a while, I believe this is nothing but name squatting and can be resolved for a ransom, ehem, fee.
    Similar with the Model E designation, which I believe is registered by Ford. This designation is still used in this forum, however was abandoned by Tesla. Beats me how you can copy protect a simple letter of the alphabet, soon we have to pay royalties for every word we are publishing.
    8 Jul 2014, 10:40 AM Reply Like
  • Stephen Pace
    , contributor
    Comments (812) | Send Message
    @Dampflok: Model E had been registered by Ford, but they let it lapse. Tesla picked it up and then Ford sent them a legal nastygram so Tesla decided not to fight about it.
    8 Jul 2014, 11:15 AM Reply Like
  • Dampflok
    , contributor
    Comments (1416) | Send Message
    Wonder if that was from the Jaguar E type, when Ford owned Jaguar.
    8 Jul 2014, 11:31 AM Reply Like
  • Valueseeker
    , contributor
    Comments (1990) | Send Message
    Apple paid $60M for similar trademark disputes. So, the settlement could reach near that level in the worst case.
    8 Jul 2014, 02:17 PM Reply Like
  • Mukticat
    , contributor
    Comments (2092) | Send Message
    Excuse me but you've used the word 'alphabet' for which I already own the trademark. Please remit $1.35 for the single use or $13.50 for a ten-day license.


    TSLA will crash back to earth but not for this reason.
    8 Jul 2014, 10:47 AM Reply Like
  • Chillout
    , contributor
    Comments (9) | Send Message
    If the Chinese govt is making over $36k per Model S sold ( ) and likley much more because red tape, then I would suppose state support for the troll is rather low. At 1,000 cars we are looking at $36m in state revenues, and if Tesla does 10,000 in the next year(s) in China, well $360m... you get the picture.


    Since the troll is asking for $3m, I am guessing this is one last desperation shot, and not at all worried.
    8 Jul 2014, 10:52 AM Reply Like
  • hughesrd
    , contributor
    Comments (239) | Send Message
    I thought this issue had already been settled for a fee? A different copyright holder??
    8 Jul 2014, 11:10 AM Reply Like
  • Stephen Pace
    , contributor
    Comments (812) | Send Message
    @hughesrd: Same guy, different day. The Apple iPad issue was similarly fun. They negotiated for the rights, signed the papers (before the guy knew it was Apple), and when he saw who it was, claimed that his subsidiary didn't have the rights to give away the name on the mainland, so it cost Apple some more money.
    8 Jul 2014, 11:16 AM Reply Like
  • David at Imperial Beach
    , contributor
    Comments (4380) | Send Message
    Same guy. And no, he didn't get any fee. Tesla took him to court and won their case. Apparently this name squatter thinks a different court will make a different decision if the case is retried. And it's a trademark issue, not copyright.
    8 Jul 2014, 11:20 AM Reply Like
  • Doc's Trading
    , contributor
    Comments (1847) | Send Message
    ....TSLA...TSLA.....Lower buy stop on short sale recommendation at 239.50 from 226.20 to 223.20 on half position..., take profits on other half of position here at 216.00.
    more later....
    8 Jul 2014, 12:18 PM Reply Like
  • I need a bailout
    , contributor
    Comments (1758) | Send Message

    8 Jul 2014, 12:51 PM Reply Like
  • surferbroadband
    , contributor
    Comments (5402) | Send Message
    Squatter will extract money from Tesla Motors.
    8 Jul 2014, 03:29 PM Reply Like
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