Nikola Motors has been trying to sue Tesla since the company revealed its Semi. The company is complaining that the Semi’s design infringes on its existing patents that they obtained for their own truck design, the Nikola One truck. The lawsuit has now moved a step further after Nikola Motors’ patents were upheld.
These three patents that Nikola Motors is mainly based around design, and are looking very weak as a case. Tesla complained to USPTO, arguing that the designs that Nikola Motors is fighting for existed before its patents, but it’s been confirmed today that USPTO is upholding these patents.
Nikola Motors boss posted the following to Twitter:
People were keen to find out more and inject their own opinions on this ruling.
Obviously you're too naive to even review the lawsuit. Tesla knew of our patents. We tried talking to them prior to them launching their truck. They refused. They tried to invalidate and lost. We want them to succeed but not by using our IP. Go be a troll elsewhere.
— Trevor Milton (@nikolatrevor) April 20, 2020
It’s been over four years since Nikola Motors announced a semi, but originally it was supposed to be powered by a hybrid system consisting of electric and natural gas power. Later on, they changed to a battery and hydrogen-powered design. This was accompanied by plans to create a hydrogen fuelling station network.
Soon after, Tesla unveiled its only Semi, which would be powered by batteries only. It proved that all-electric power can give the Semi adequate range, swaying the industry to this method of movement. Nikola Motors argued at the time that it still wasn’t possible to have enough range for logistics by only using battery power, but has since revealed a range of battery-only vehicles. The company has even revealed its own all-electric pickup last year.
As you can see from a quick Google search, there’s nothing new to the design of either company’s semi trucks, so it certainly looks like Nikola Motors is only trying to slow down Tesla. We’ll see what happens as the lawsuit continues. Let’s hope it gets shoved to the ‘not necessary’ pile.