At last year’s Giga Fest in Germany Tesla CEO Elon Musk revealed the company will be making its own beer product called ‘Giga Beer.’ While they have yet to start selling the new alcoholic product, a company in China has started selling something very similar, and it has resulted in Tesla filing a lawsuit against them.
The offending company is Sino Drinks Food Company, which has been selling ‘Tesila Beer’ and ‘Tesla Soda’ products with a logo that looks remarkably similar to the Tesla T.
According to court documents filed by Tesla (Shanghai) Co. Ltd. filed in March, the company is accusing Sino of using its lawful trademarks and is requesting ¥5 million ($742,000 USD) in compensation.
The Shanghai High Court will hear the case next week on June 23.
Sino is well known for its suspicious business practices, having squatted over 200 trademarks from other companies. Trademark squatting is the practice of purchasing a company or brand’s trademark with the hopes of selling it back to them for a profit.
According to a report by VinoJoy, Sino has done this on three trademarks related to Tesla, registering Tesla’s translated Chinese name ‘特斯拉’, ‘特丝拉Tosila’ and ‘Tesla Motors’.
A similar incident happened in Germany after Musk revealed Giga Beer last year. One day after the announcement, a civil engineering company by the name of Kabo KG registered the ‘Giga Beer’ and ‘Giga Bier’ trademarks. This was also one day before Tesla filed their application.
Fortunately Tesla was first to register the trademarks with the United States Patent Office (USPTO).