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Nikola’s patent lawsuit against Tesla "runs out of gas"

November 1, 2021


As reported by The Verge, a federal judge has removed Nikola’s two-billion-dollar patent infringement lawsuit against Tesla from the Northern District Court of California’s docket list, citing both parties’ persistent failure to respond to court requests.

In the original complaint, Nikola, which is a hydrogen trucking startup, had accused Tesla of infringing on patents Nikola had filed for its hydrogen-powered tractor-trailer and “causing confusion in the market.” Specifically, Nikola argued that Tesla’s “Tesla Semi” copied key design elements of Nikola’s own big rig, including the wraparound windshield, aerodynamic fuselage, and mid-entry doors. At the time, Tesla responded that it was “patently obvious there is no merit” to the lawsuit.

Nikola has suffered setbacks since going public in 2020. Most notably, Nikola founder and former CEO Trevor Milton was indicted on multiple counts of fraud.


Authors: Mark Leonard and Luke Devine


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