Tesla Inc. Files Lawsuit Against Tesla Power India Pvt. Ltd. Over Trademark Dispute

In a recent legal development, electric vehicle (EV) titan Tesla Inc. has taken legal action against Gurgaon-based battery seller Tesla Power India Pvt. Ltd., alleging trademark infringement. The lawsuit, filed in the Delhi High Court, revolves around the unauthorized use of the ‘Tesla’ trademark by Tesla Power.

The Delhi High Court, responding to Tesla Inc.’s plea, has issued a notice and restrained Tesla Power from promoting any EV products bearing a similar Tesla trademark. The court has also directed Tesla Power to provide its responses to the allegations and adjourned the case until 22 July for further proceedings.

During the court proceedings, Tesla Inc. argued that Tesla Power’s use of the trademark in India has led to consumer confusion and potential harm to its business interests. The company claimed that Tesla Power not only shares a similar trademark but also advertises as an EV company in newspapers, leading consumers to mistakenly associate its products with Tesla Inc.

Tesla Inc. emphasized the urgency of the matter, asserting that consumers are inadvertently purchasing Tesla Power batteries under the false assumption of association with Tesla Inc., leading to complaints directed at them.

However, the court criticized Tesla Inc.’s lack of urgency, highlighting that the company has been in communication with Tesla Power regarding the trademark dispute since 2020. The court emphasized that Tesla Power, operating for four years, deserves the opportunity to present its case and cannot be abruptly shut down.

In response, Tesla Power clarified that it is not manufacturing EV batteries but is engaged in the sale of lead-acid batteries for conventional vehicles and inverters. The company asserted that the advertisement featuring the Tesla trademark was related to another entity, e-Ashwa, with whom Tesla Power has a strategic partnership to sell branded products.

Tesla Power emphasized its business longevity since 2020 and revealed having served 1 million customers in India, further challenging Tesla Inc.’s claims of confusion and harm.

Meanwhile, Elon Musk, CEO of Tesla Inc., postponed his much-anticipated visit to India, citing prior commitments to the company. Reports indicate Tesla’s contemplation of a substantial investment of approximately $30 billion in India over the next five years, including the establishment of a manufacturing plant and battery ecosystem.

The Indian government’s introduction of a new electric vehicle policy on 15 March is poised to facilitate Tesla’s entry into the Indian market. This policy entails tax reductions on certain electric vehicles, contingent upon companies pledging to invest at least ₹4150 crore (about $500 million) and establishing a manufacturing facility in India within three years, with a minimum of 25% locally sourced components.

In conclusion, the legal battle between Tesla Inc. and Tesla Power underscores the complexities surrounding trademark disputes in the burgeoning EV market in India. As Tesla’s ambitions to invest and establish a foothold in India intensify, the resolution of this legal matter will be pivotal in shaping the trajectory of both companies in the Indian market.

Gist of events

· Tesla Inc. sues Tesla Power India Pvt. Ltd. for trademark infringement over the use of ‘Tesla’ trademark.

· Delhi High Court issues notice, restraining Tesla Power from advertising similar products.

· Tesla Inc. claims consumer confusion, urgency in resolving the matter.

· Court criticizes Tesla Inc.’s lack of urgency, allows Tesla Power to present its case.

· Tesla Power clarifies it sells lead-acid batteries, not EV batteries, under a strategic partnership with e-Ashwa.

· Elon Musk postpones India visit amidst reports of Tesla’s $30 billion investment plan.

· India’s new EV policy offers tax reductions for companies investing in local manufacturing, facilitating Tesla’s potential entry.


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