Tesla is suing counterfeit Tesla beer maker in China

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Tesla beer or Tesla soda anyone? Not so fast. The US electric car maker has never made such drinks, but a Chinese company did, and now the controversial drinks are at the center of a RMB5 million lawsuit between Tesla and its maker.

Tesla beer or Tesla soda anyone? Not so fast. The US electric car maker has never made such drinks, but a Chinese company did, and now the controversial drinks are at the center of a RMB5 million lawsuit between Tesla and its maker.

A range of beer and soda waters, which bear a striking resemblance to the logo and name of a Chinese company owned by US electric car maker Tesla, will be the focus of dispute in an upcoming lawsuit the automaker is bringing against the Chinese maker and distributor of the drinks in Shanghai .

According to court documents obtained by Tesla (Shanghai) Co., Ltd. last March. were filed, it said that the Chinese company Sino Drinks Food Company (中饮食品公司) has violated its legal rights by manufacturing beer and soda products using its legitimate trademarks. She named the Chinese company and its subsidiary in Guangdong, as well as a design company, as defendants in the case.

Tesla Shanghai therefore requested compensation of 5 million RMB (US$742,000). The Shanghai Supreme Court will hear the case on June 23.

The range of controversial products are ‘Tesila beer‘, which uses Tesla’s transliterated Chinese pinyin name, and ‘Tesla soda‘ Bodies of water (pictured above). Both the logo and the names of the drinks are similar to the American automaker’s designs.

The Chinese company in question has a criminal record of shady practices and has occupied over 200 brands, three of which are linked to Tesla. They are Tesla’s translated Chinese name “特斯拉”, “特丝拉Tosila” and “Tesla Motors”. It has also protected over 30 names linked to the new coronavirus but eventually withdrew the trademarks following a nationwide crackdown on illegal Covid products.

This is Tesla’s latest trademark dispute in China. In 2014, it was sued by Chinese businessman Zhan Baosheng for trademark infringement when Zhan first registered the Tesla brand in China before the Texas-based automaker came to the country.

Tesla finally resolved the dispute amicably with Zhan. However, Tesla’s ordeal highlighted the legal problems faced by many companies operating in China, including Apple, Hermes and Penfolds, which have been embroiled in lawsuits with brand squatters.

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