Katherine Welles /
8 July 2014Trademarks

Tesla facing trademark infringement battle in China

Electric car manufacturer Tesla is facing a new trademark infringement lawsuit over its use of the Tesla mark in China.

Zhan Baosheng, owner of the Tesla trademark in both Chinese and English there, is claiming the electric car manufacturer is infringing his mark.

In court documents filed on July 3 at the Beijing Third Intermediate Court, Zhan is claiming damages of 23.9 million yuan ($3.85 million) and an order that the company stops all marketing and shuts down all showrooms displaying cars with the mark.

Zhan applied for the Tesla trademark in 2006, three years after the formation of the electric car manufacturer, and was granted the rights in 2009 for ten years.

In November 2012, Tesla offered $50,000 to Zhan for the trademark and followed up with an offer in May 2013 of two million yuan ($320,000). Zhan rejected both offers.

Last year  WIPR reported that Zhan demanded a fee of $32 million for the trademark, which Tesla subsequently rejected.

So far, neither Zhan nor Tesla has responded to requests for comment.

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