Tesla, Ford Compete For The “Model E” Trademark


ford-badgeLast year Elon Musk and Tesla Motors caused a flutter when it was revealed that the Fremont-based automaker had filed a trademark for the “Model E” moniker. While supposedly a joke (Model S + Model E + Model X = SEX), the Internet and Ford Motors have taken the trademark filing very seriously, with the Blue Oval filing for its own Model E trademark.

Rumor has suggested that the Model E name could be applied to the $35,000, 200-mile BMW fighter Tesla will begin selling in 2016 or 2017. Though Tesla has not confirmed anything regarding the Model E, including the name, the trademark has given auto bloggers around the world enough to speculate pretty much endlessly. Everything you think you know about the Tesla Model E is merely wishful thinking and speculation at this point.

But speculation is apparently enough to get Ford’s trademark attorneys all riled up, with Ford patent hawks submitting a trademark application for the Model E moniker as well. Despite what the Internet is telling you though, Ford DID make a “Model F” way back at the dawn of the automotive era, which many reffered to as the Model E. While official Ford archives call the Model E merely the “Delivery Car” model, Ford has not made or sold a Model E in more than a century, though one could make an argument for the E-Series of Ford delivery vans. That begs the question, to whom, if anyone, does the Model E name belong now?

Tesla filed first, but if Ford can prove it has a historical claim to the Model E name, this could turn into an ugly legal battle over a very bland name. Of course Ford could avoid this scuffle altogether by simply buying Tesla Motors out, though there is an increasingly long line of potential bidders for the biggest car brand of 2013. Then again, Ford has quite enough on its plate right now with the re-launch of Lincoln and the all-new 2015 Ford Mustang.

Now watch as neither company ever use the Model E moniker…

Source: Ford Authority

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  • PorfirioR

    Hmmm… Cadillac made a Model E (and just about every other letter of the alphabet). Mercedes has the E class. Jaguar had the E type. There was even a steam passenger vehicle in production in 1922 made by the Doble Steam Car company and called… you guessed it… the Model E, of which some are still running around (Jay Leno owns one). I believe Buick also made a model E.

    What if Cadillac and Buick wanted to bring back their Model E’s? It sounds like GM might have more of a historical claim on the Model E trademark than Ford.

    I guess this is Ford’s idea of competing with Tesla.

    Oh yeah, here comes the Model T, a Tesla truck. Just kidding Ford, relax, jeez…

    • tkulogo

      Well they can’t compete by slapping solar cells on the back of a car with a 22 mile range, so what do you expect?

  • I don’t know if it’s the case anymore, but the in the Mercedes world, “E” stood for “Einspritzer” (maybe spelled that wrong), roughly meaning gasoline injection as opposed to it’s “D” meaning Diesel. All the letters were abbreviations of full words.

  • Julian Cox

    Ford simply buy Tesla out? You are joking right. Why on earth would Tesla sell out to Ford when fast forward a few years Tesla can just buy Ford out of Chapter 11.

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  • doc3osh

    I didn’t think you could patent a car name. But anyway if Tesla was going to have this battle with Ford, it wouldn’t be over “Model E”, it would be over “Model T.” It’s obvious that Elon looks at the upcoming more affordable Tesla as a new Model T, taking a space in automotive history analogous to Ford’s original Model T. I had always figured it would be called the Model T, but perhaps there is legal wrangling I hadn’t counted on.

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