Nikola Tesla is a great scientist and his name is used by two electric car companies, Nikola Motors and Tesla. Ironically in 2018, Nikola filed a lawsuit against Tesla, accusing Tesla of infringing on the design patents on the Tesla Semi electric truck. Nikola believes that Tesla stole the design from their Nikola One.
In the 2018 lawsuit, Nikola said that Tesla’s truck caused “confusion in the market,” and declare that “Tesla’s breach has harmed Nikola’s ability to attract investors and partners because investors can now partner with Tesla for a replacement truck.” According to Nikola’s calculation, the damage from this violation was “in excess of $2 billion.”
At the time, a Tesla spokesperson said: “Clearly there is no rationality in this lawsuit.Meanwhile, a representative of Nikola Motors said in its statement that, “We do not comment because it belongs to the court. The lawsuit itself says it all.”
However, recently, Bloomberg reported that Nikola had dropped the lawsuit. Tesla has also agreed to drop the lawsuit, and both companies have agreed to withdraw all claims and objections against each other. The case has remained relatively stagnant since 2018. In October of last year, Judge James Donato, who oversaw the case, filed a new order ordering the two sides to begin moving forward.
The case’s stalemate is likely due to the fact that Nikola’s former leader, Trevor Milton, was indicted on fraud charges, prosecutors say he misled investors. Market research firm Hindenburg Research called Nikola a “complex fraud” company.
Nikola announced the Nikola One hydrogen-powered pickup truck in 2016 with the promise of being able to drive 800-1,200 miles with zero pollution. However, the company has been charged by the SEC with misleading investors. Milton was later charged by a federal jury with two counts of securities fraud and one count of electronic financial fraud.