Tesla Motors continues to be locked in a bitter trademark dispute with a Chinese man who claims to own the rights to the company's name there. Zhan Baosheng is now suing the automaker in China for trademark infringement, and he's asking for 23.9 million yuan ($3.9 million) in damages, plus for the business shut down all of its Chinese operations.

According to Automotive News, Zhan registered for the trademark in 2006 and was granted it in 2009, which was after the automaker was founded in the US in 2003 but before it began Chinese operations. The two sides have been fighting over the name for years. The business reportedly offered him two million yuan ($322,500 at current exchange rates) to buy the trademark in 2009, but Zhan allegedly came back with an astronomical counter-offer for the equivalent of $32 million.The company also nearly changed its localized brand name in China to Tuosule because Zhan owned the rights to its preferred Te Si La title, but the courts eventually sided with Tesla.

On his Twitter page, Zhan's profile says that he's "the owner of TESLA trademark in China." He also recently tweeted a photo of himself holding the trademark document. It seems unlikely for Tesla to lose its Chinese trademark. So far, the courts have ruled in the company's favor over Zhan. According to Automotive News, the country's trademark regulator invalidated Zhan's rights to the name last year. However, he's appealing the ruling. A Tesla spokesperson told Automotive News that the company hasn't been served with the lawsuit from him yet. Scroll down to watch a brief video from Bloomberg going into more detail about the case.


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  • 72 Comments
      Kimura
      • 5 Months Ago
      Chinese suing a foreign company over copyright infringement. Oh the irony.
      gregorycalise
      • 5 Months Ago
      We are looking at a con artist. He saw that Tesla was was a registered car company, so he thought he could pull a fast one. It's like some chinese dude patenting Dodge or Ford. No difference. Hope he loses big time and ends up in a chinese factory.
      akitadog
      • 5 Months Ago
      Chinese equivalent to a Patent Troll here in the USA.
        Serioso
        • 5 Months Ago
        @akitadog
        A patent troll knockoff. Who would have thought...
      foobar
      • 5 Months Ago
      Someone should report this guy to the "People's Government" for using Twitter. That will shut him up.
      bc3091
      • 5 Months Ago
      Does he even use the name for anything? If not, he should have taken what appears to have been a very generous, somewhat unnecessary offer from Tesla and walked away. Now, he will probably go into debt since it sounds like he is going to lose.
      RC
      • 5 Months Ago
      Wow posting a picture of himself trying to get a quick buck out of Tesla? Zhan Baosheng has no shame, nor any self respect.
        SloopJohnB
        • 5 Months Ago
        @RC
        He certainly has no self esteem issues. Where's the Party in all of this?
      Technoir
      • 5 Months Ago
      He should have taken the 300k; because now he'll get nothing.
      SublimeKnight
      • 5 Months Ago
      So he also has the @chinese twitter handle. Why do I get the impression that he's a professional squatter?
      knightrider_6
      • 5 Months Ago
      This coming from a country that has hundreds of fake Apple stores http://www.theguardian.com/technology/pda/2011/jul/21/fake-apple-store
      DRO3000
      • 5 Months Ago
      China has trademark laws??? Thats news to me
      john m
      • 5 Months Ago
      Good luck on that lawsuit dumb@$$!!! Chinese companies have NO problem ignoring the patents of other countries and yet they complain when they THINK they may have something??? Don't get me wrong. The people of China work just as hard as anyone else, anywhere in the world and deserve respect like anyone else. But this story is B.S. This is comedy at it's best...LMAO!
      RoyEMunson
      • 5 Months Ago
      This twerp is a businessman? Dont patronize this troll AB... he is no business man. Baosheng, you got too greedy bud, now you get nothing. Deal with it.
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