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Nikola Motor sues Tesla accusing design patent infringements

Nikola Motor, the maker of hydrogen-powered semi trucks, filed a lawsuit on Tuesday against Tesla Inc accusing the automaker of design patent infringements.

Tesla’s Semi, its first electric heavy duty truck, is “substantially” same as Nikola’s design, Nikola Motor stated in a court filing.

Salt Lake City, Utah-based Nikola claims it was issued six design patents by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office from February and April 2018 for its wrap windshield, mid-entry door, fuselage, fender, side cladding and the entire design of the Nikola One.

“Nikola estimates its harm from Tesla’s infringement to be in excess of $2 billion,” it stated in the filing.

A Tesla spokesman denied the claims.

“It’s patently obvious there is no merit to this lawsuit,” a Tesla spokesman informed Reuters in an email.

Tesla CEO Elon Musk revealed the Tesla Semi, its electric heavy duty truck, in November. The company has not revealed much details of the Semi, but has informed that the truck would start production in 2019.

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