There aren't yet any news reports posted about the events in court today surrounding the Tesla Motors lawsuit filed by ex-CEO Martin Eberhard, but we know from a new statement put out by Tesla that the judge struck down Eberhard's request to be declared one of just two founders of the company. Tesla said it was pleased by this decision, and "definitely agree[s] that Eberhard's claims on the founder issue have no legal relevance." The judge did not throw out the case, however, as Musk and the Tesla team asked, so the court proceedings will move forward. That was expected, and means there will likely be plenty more revealed about the turmoil of starting up a company like Tesla in the coming months (read more on the history of the lawsuit here and here). The Tesla Motors statement is available in full after the jump.

While we wait for more updates, the Daily Green's Jim Motavalli puts it succinctly: "I don't care who founded Tesla, only that it ramp up production and get more EVs on the road."

UPDATE: see Eberhard's response here.

  • No. 2 - Tesla Roadsters are in production, albeit in small numbers still, and the company is still with us (for now at least). We've driven it and it's a wonderful sports car - even disregarding the powertrain. Factor in that electric drive and it's amazing. Unfortunately, recent financial issues have threatened the company's future. The investors seem committed to making Tesla survival so far.

Photos copyright ©2009 Drew Phillips / Weblogs, Inc.

[Source: Tesla Motors, The Daily Green]



STATEMENT FROM TESLA MOTORS:

We are pleased that the judge struck down Eberhard's claim asking to be "declared" one of only two founders of the company. We have long believed in the concept of a founding team, which includes Elon Musk as well as JB Straubel and other people who played indispensible and positive roles in Tesla's early history. We definitely agree that Eberhard's claims on the founder issue have no legal relevance.

We asked the judge to take the extraordinary step of dismissing the lawsuit, which we still believe is an unfair personal attack and PR stunt that should not burden the court system. The judge acknowledged that it wasn't "in his purview" to rule on the merits of the case at this very early stage, so we look forward to proving the facts in court in the upcoming months. We also look forward to a ruling on our request that the plaintiff revise his original lawsuit and delete some of the most ridiculous and demonstrably false statements and innuendos, including implications that Elon may not have received his undergraduate degrees or been accepted to graduate school at Stanford. Such statements are easily proven false by the most casual observers of the case, and they illustrate the degree to which the original lawsuit is a fictionalized account of Tesla's history. We look forward to setting the record straight in court
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