Tesla announced its electric Semi Truck last year and has already started taking preorders, but Tesla might be in big trouble now as Nikola, a hybrid-tuck startup has filed up a lawsuit of $2 billion against Tesla for copyright infringement.
Nikola alleges that Tesla’s semi-truck design infringes many of its patents. In 2015 Nikola filed design patents for an electric semi-truck, these patents included a number of design features including wraparound windshield, mid-entry door, fuselage, fender, side cladding, and the overall design of a semi.
These are the features that are also included in the Tesla semi-truck and Tesla does not own any patents on this design.
Nikola claims at this point Tesla has not revealed any plans to develop a similar semi-truck. But in July 2016 Tesla announced that it was in early stages of development and it also tried to hire Nikola’s chief engineer. In December 2016 Nikola unveiled a prototype of Nikola One.
The lawsuit reads “On Nov. 7, Nikola sent Tesla a cease-and-desist letter that identified the semi-truck design features Nikola was patenting and demanded that Tesla not unveil its semi until Tesla’s infringement had been resolved, Tesla never responded.”
A Tesla spokesperson said in a statement to Mashable that it’s patently obvious there is no merit to this lawsuit. On the other hand, Nikola stated that the lawsuit speaks for itself, we are simply protecting our intellectual property.