Two years in the past, hydrogen-truck startup Nikola sued Tesla claiming that the Tesla Semi was a knockoff of Nikola’s personal truck design. On Wednesday, Tesla filed a response within the case accusing Nikola of basing its personal truck on a 2010 idea by designer Adriano Mudri. Mudri is now director of design on the Croatian automaker Rimac.
“Adriano Mudri is the designer of the Street Runner idea truck,” Tesla writes in its authorized submitting. “The Street Runner idea truck was entered into the 2010 Michelin Design Problem, and was chosen for show on the 2010 North American Worldwide Auto Present.”
Based on Tesla, Nikola founder Trevor Milton met with Mudri “throughout 2014 and/or 2015.” Tesla says that Milton knew concerning the Street Runner idea truck on the time he utilized for the design patents Nikola later used to sue Tesla and that Mudri’s design “constituted a big creative contribution” to the designs Nikola patented.
Milton and Nikola designer Steve Jennes have been listed as inventors on Nikola’s patent functions, which did not acknowledge Mudri’s alleged affect over the design. Tesla argues that this failure to acknowledge Mudri ought to render Nikola’s patents invalid.
Tesla additionally factors out that a number of components of Nikola’s design—together with the wraparound windshield and common streamlined form—have lengthy been featured in different semi vans. Tesla included images of a number of different vans that share options with Nikola’s patented design.
In an announcement to Ars, Nikola mentioned that it might “evaluate Tesla’s counterclaims and reply appropriately.” The corporate added that “Nikola alleges that Tesla’s semi-truck infringes not solely sure Nikola design patents and utility patents, but additionally its commerce costume.”
Nikola has had a troublesome month. Two weeks in the past, the short-selling agency Hindenburg Analysis revealed that Nikola by no means received its first truck, the Nikola One, working. Nikola created a promotional video for the truck by rolling it up a shallow hill and letting it roll back down. Milton resigned from the corporate on Sunday, and the controversy has reportedly made it difficult for Nikola to search out companions to assist it construct a deliberate community of hydrogen-fueling stations.
Itemizing picture by Nikola