Tesla Settles Trademark Lawsuit In China

Tesla Model S

TThe saga of who owns the rights to the Tesla trademark in China has finally come to an end, with Tesla securing the rights for an undisclosed sum of money. After many years and lawsuits and appeals, Tesla Motors and Zahn Baosheng have come to an “amicable” but unspecified agreement to transfer the trademarks and websites to Tesla, reports Bloomberg News.

Prior to this, Tesla had attempted to settle with Zahn to the tune of $325,000, but the Chinese businessman, who owned the Tesla name, as well as several Chinese Tesla websites, turned down the offer and countered with a price of $32 million. This compelled Tesla to temporarily change its name, though since then the Chinese courts got involved, siding with Tesla, though Zahn appealed the case. Apparently though the two sides have come to an agreement outside of the courts, removing any doubt that Tesla is now the one true owner of its name in the Peoples’ Republic.

With the first Tesla Model S sedans being delivered to Chinese customers (at least officially, anyways) in the beginning of April, and since then more than 1,000 electric sedans have made their way from California to China. Eventually, Tesla plans to open a factory somewhere on the Chinese mainland, as Elon Musk predicts demand will eventually be strong enough to warrant its own manufacturing plant.

With China wholeheartedly embracing electric vehicles and lending financial support even to foreign-made EVs, Tesla certainly has good reason to look with increasingly optimism to the quasi-communist country.

Christopher DeMorro

A writer and gearhead who loves all things automotive, from hybrids to HEMIs, can be found wrenching or writing- or else, he's running, because he's one of those crazy people who gets enjoyment from running insane distances.