Tesla accused of violating Nikola Motor patents with electric semi truck, sues for $2B

  • Nikola Motor Company has filed a lawsuit alleging that Tesla infringes on the hydrogen truck startup’s patents
  • Nikola is seeking more than $2 billion in damages

Elon Musk-owned Tesla was hit with a $2 billion patent infringement lawsuit by hydrogen truck startup Nikola Motor; stating that the company’s’ truck designs are too similar.

Nikola Motor Company filed a lawsuit this week against Tesla over allegations of design-patent infringement, Reuters said in a story.

In the filing, Utah-based Nikola alleges that Tesla’s infringement has harmed the company to the tune of some $2 billion because it has “caused confusion among customers,” the suit states.

The legal case deepens the rivalry between the two companies, which are both coincidentally named after electricity pioneer Nikola Tesla.

Nikola said it received six design patents earlier this year for various elements of its hydrogen-electric truck, including the wrapped windshield, side door, and fuselage.

Tesla is promising to deliver a battery-electric semi truck.

“The Tesla Semi design is substantially similar to Nikola’s unique design, and Tesla copied Nikola’s patents,” Nikola alleged in the lawsuit.

Tesla said, however, that “it’s patently obvious there is no merit to this lawsuit.”