China is the largest automarket in the world, and even if the economy is slowing down, new car sales are on high gear as just last month sales rose almost 11 percent according to the China Association of Auto Manufacturers.
Considering this, Tesla Motors, one of the most successful carmaker that builds electric vehicles, including the Model S luxury sedan is trying to enter the market. But there’s a problem. According to the Chinese authorities, the name Tesla Motors Inc is already trademarked in China by someone else. Zhan Baosheng successfully registered the “Tesla” trademark for land, air, and marine transportation vehicles in 12 categories in 2009.
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.
However, according to the Chinese legislation, the automaker car as China’s Trademark Office to cancel Baosheng’s trademark as it has not been used for three years. But Baosheng is reportedly getting evidence of his use of the trademark together now in order to fight off Tesla.
In addition, the domain names tesla.com.cn and teslamotors.com have both been registered in China before the company could snap them up.
In Chine this is nothing new as a few year ago, Apple faced a similar problem and settled on paying $60 million to buy the iPad name.