The amount for damages - $2 billion!
Tesla shocked the media when it revealed its fully electric semi truck with a 500-mile range and ludicrous acceleration stats. While the semi truck may have been a big surprise to the public, it seems it was an even bigger surprise for Nikola Motors, an American hybrid truck designer based out of Salt Lake City, Utah. According to Reuters' Hannah McKay, Nikola Motors filed a lawsuit on Tuesday against Tesla for alleged design patent infringements. In a court filing, the company said Tesla's semi truck is “substantially” similar to Nikola’s design.
Just looking at Nikola's truck, the Nikola One, the similarities to Tesla's truck are obvious. Nikola claims it was issued with six design patents by the US Patent and Trademark Office between February and April 2018. These patents include: a wrapped windshield, mid-entry door, fenders, side cladding, fuselage, and overall design. “Nikola estimates its harm from Tesla’s infringement to be in excess of $2 billion,” the company said in the filing. A Tesla spokesperson responded by saying “It’s patently obvious there is no merit to this lawsuit.” Tesla CEO Elon Musk hasn't given us much details about the semi truck since its reveal, so it is hard to guess if Nikola has a case here.
Tesla seems to be in the news for one reason or another, so this could just be a competitor trying to hit the company while it is down. With all of Tesla's other issues, such as production delays and rapid spending, a lawsuit couldn't come at a worse time. It will be interesting to see how this situation shakes out.