Tesla is not Tesla anymore, at least in China. The Palo Alto-based manufacturer has apparently given up on the fight over its name, for the time being. The name "Tesla" was trademarked by one Zhan Baosheng in 2006, while the American EV company didn't attempt to claim it until 2009 (we reported on this development a few weeks back).

Of course, trademark squatters aren't really a new thing, particularly in China. Earlier this month, we told you about a car company that is attempting to patent a Volkswagen design before the German manufacturer could even bring it to market.

Since the California electric car manufacturer can't go by Tesla in the Asian automotive market, it's reportedly elected to be known as "Tuosule." First reported by InAutoNews, the Tuosule name apparently comes from a transliteration of "Tesla" to a dialect of Chinese spoken in Hong Kong. This was the second time Tesla has gone to court over its name. The first time was to reclaim the name "Tesla Motors," which it achieved by purchasing the name from its owner, Qiao Weiwei, but that name apparently isn't licensed for automotive use.

According to the report, Tesla offered Baosheng $326,000 for the name, but he had a different number in mind – $32 million. Tesla hasn't given up the fight, though, arguing that because Baosheng has no plans to use it, he should be forced to give up the copyright.


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 62 Comments
      MistyGreen
      • 1 Year Ago
      Ha! Should've taken that 300 thousand, chump. Now you get $0.
      Miguro Takahashi
      • 1 Year Ago
      Wow, you have to be an idiot to ask $32 million. If you're gonna be a slimy weasel at least a be a smart and realistic one. Now all you did was anger Tesla and they'll come for blood rather than pay you. Silly people.
      Ryan
      • 1 Year Ago
      People like that are the problem in the world today and why doing business is harder than it should be.
      Hajime1990 #follow
      • 1 Year Ago
      I'm more surprised to hear that China had trademark laws to begin with.
      RC
      • 1 Year Ago
      Never feed the patent trolls.
      James Ho
      • 1 Year Ago
      I am a Hongkonger. Tuosule isn't something in Cantonese, one of Hong Kong's official languages. Tesla's name in Cantonese should be something like 德士拉, or "Tak Shi Lai". The term might be coined by a Hongkonger, but I seriously doubt that it's based on "a dialect of Chinese spoken in Hong Kong."
        Jason
        • 1 Year Ago
        @James Ho
        Autoblog Author: "See, I know chinese culture. My cantonsese friend from Taipei even gave me a nickname.. Yu Faht Hett"
          Beamer
          • 1 Year Ago
          @Jason
          Obviously you DON'T know Chinese culture. Taipei is is the capital of Taiwan, they speak Taiwanese & Mandarin mainly.
        Beamer
        • 1 Year Ago
        @James Ho
        I agree. "Tuosule" sound more like Mandarin and not Hong Kong Cantonese.
      Narom
      • 1 Year Ago
      Should have gone with nikola.
      k_m94
      • 1 Year Ago
      LOL China.
      A.J.
      • 1 Year Ago
      I bet Baosheng will feel like an idiot for turning down $300,000 after Tesla goes with a different name and he gets squat. Serves his sorry you-know-what right.
      Grendal
      • 1 Year Ago
      Tesla is opening their distribution center in Holland. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TMYmSuicTXE Maybe Dan/Giza can hang out and tell them what they are doing wrong.
        Marco Polo
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Grendal
        @ Grendal Dan/Giza is actually Danish. DF's close proximity should provide the Netherlanders with yet another reason to distrust the EU's open borders policy !
          Grendal
          • 1 Year Ago
          @Marco Polo
          Hmm. I knew that. Whoops. UFO's have no borders - or rules.
      Spec
      • 1 Year Ago
      Good for not paying. Don't feed the trolls.
      JonnyO
      • 1 Year Ago
      Just bribe a cop to have him killed. What's the problem here?
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