Published on January 27th, 2014 | by James Ayre4
Tesla Motors Wins Legal Battle In China, Reclaims Brand Name
Tesla’s legal woes in China appear to finally be over, with the recent decision by a Chinese court to side with the popular EV company rather than local businessman Zhan Baosheng, who previously owned the “Te Si La (Tesla)” trademark in China. With the new ruling, the company is now legally able to sell its vehicles in the country under the Tesla brand name, using the preferred Chinese transliteration “Te Si La.”
Given the rapidly upcoming release date of the Model S in the country, the decision is quite expedient and bodes well for the company’s prospects in the region.
Green Car Reports provides more:
The Tesla name had been trademarked back in 2006 by a local businessman, Zhan Baosheng, before its first electric Roadster even went on sale in the US. Baosheng had put up a minimal website for “Tesla Motors China” with photos of another vehicle, and hinted in the press that he was open to offers to sell the name back to Tesla for many millions of dollars.
Tesla’s vice president for China, Veronica Wu, told Reuters that the company had won the right to use its name in court and had not had to pay Baosheng. “We went to court and won,” she said. As of this week, the company’s stores now carry the name “Te Si La,” which is the Chinese transliteration most familiar to Chinese consumers.
Tesla is currently banking heavily on the Chinese market, and is expecting it to become one of the company’s most lucrative — so the legal win is one that Musk is no doubt happy about.
Unsurprisingly, much of the potential seen in the Chinese market is down to the company’s general association with prestige and luxury, and the great demand for symbols of wealth and luxury amongst China’s wealthier citizens. That said, whatever the reasons may be for the adoption of EVs such as the Model S, the livability of China’s cities will no doubt benefit. The less auto pollution the better.