Tesla Discovers Name Already Trademarked in China

Tesla Motors has run into a hurdle with its plans to enter the Chinese market. As it turns out, ‘Tesla has already been trademarked in the booming Asian nation meaning the real Tesla Motors will have to fork out quite a bit of money to get the rights to the Tesla name in China.

The ‘Tesla’ name was originally trademarked in China by Zhan Baosheng back in 2009 for land, air and marine transportation vehicles of 12 different categories. This isn’t the first time the California-based electric car manufacturer has had troubles with trademarks in China, as ‘TESLA MOTORS’ was already trademarked there by Qiao Weiwei who recently sold the name to Tesla on May 6 this year.

If that wasn’t bad enough, the domain names tesla.com.cn and teslamotors.com have both been registered in China before the company could snap them up. Tesla CEO Elon Musk recently told Chinese Entrepreneur magazine that his company offered to buy the ‘Tesla’ trademark from Zhan Baosheng for around $326,000 but he refused and wants over $32 million instead.

Unless an agreement is reached, Tesla could be forced to request that China’s Trademark Office cancel Zhan’s trademark because it hasn’t been used for three consecutive years. However, Zhan is reportedly preparing evidence to suggest that he is in fact engaged in research and development for the production of electric cars in China.

[Via Want China Times]

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