In a stunning flip of occasions, Tesla (TSLA) now claims Nikola (NKLA) stole its truck design from Rimac’s designer in an replace to its patent lawsuit replace.
As we beforehand reported, Nikola alleged that Tesla’s electrical truck design infringes on its present patents.
Particularly, a collection of three design patents that Nikola obtained for the design of some options of its Nikola One truck unveiled in 2016 — a yr earlier than Tesla unveiled its personal electrical truck.
Nikola is asking for $2 billion in damages from Tesla.
Tesla denies the claims, however since Nikola obtained the design patent, it’s now able to both present that it’s not infringing on the patent or try to invalidate the patents.
In a brand new response filed this week, Tesla claimed that the patents aren’t legitimate as a result of Nikola did not disclose that among the Nikola One’s options have been designed by Adriano Mudri, most recognized for being the Director of Design at Rimac.
Tesla wrote of their response:
“Adriano Mudri is the designer of the Highway Runner idea truck. The Highway Runner truck is a hydrogen-powered idea truck. The Highway Runner idea truck was entered into the 2010 Michelin Design Problem, and was chosen for show on the 2010 North American Worldwide Auto Present. A number of photos of the Highway Runner idea truck are reproduced under.”
Listed here are the photographs that Tesla references within the assertion above:
Tesla claims that Trevor Milton met with Adriano Mudri “throughout 2014 and/or 2015” and he was conscious of the Highway Runner truck design, which has related options because the Nikola One, together with the wrap-around windshield — one of many designs that Nikola patented.
The automaker added within the submitting:
“Adriano Mudri’s Highway Runner idea truck design constituted a major ingenious contribution to the innovations claimed within the Design Patents. Adriano Mudri was not recognized as an inventor throughout prosecution of the functions that led to the Design Patents.”
Tesla argues that Milton had “misleading intent” in not naming Mudri as an inventor within the patent utility and that the patent workplace wouldn’t have issued the patent if they might have been conscious that some options have been primarily based on a previous design by Mudri.
Right here is Tesla’s new submitting in full as a part of the lawsuit:
When Nikola first filed the lawsuit, we broke down each of the Nikola’s specific claims in what we believed mainly amounted to a patent trolling case in a purely design-based goal method.
The reality is that the patent workplace ought to have by no means granted the patents within the first place.
They’re all about obscure design options which were round for many years earlier than Nikola ever existed and granting them solely opens the door for some malicious folks to do some patent trolling.
That’s precisely what occurred.
I believe the one winners on this state of affairs, like it’s usually the case in these patent trolling instances, are going to be the legal professionals concerned.
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