Tesla solves trademark debate in China image

The U.S. electric carmaker Tesla Motors Inc. has resolved a trademark disagreement in China, removing an obstacle which could have affected CEO Elon Musk’s goal to rapidly expand in the world’s biggest auto market.

Tesla has announced for the second time an end to the dispute with Chinese businessman, Zhan Baosheng, who registered the “Tesla” trademark before the carmaker came to China. Even if Tesla stated in January that the issue was solved, last month Zhan moved to bring Tesla to court. A complete solution to the trademark disagreement would remove an obstacle in Tesla’s growth plan in China, which Musk expects to become the company’s biggest global market in 2015.
Beijing has revealed a big turn of incentives which include purchase subsidies and tax cuts as to accelerate sales of electric cars, a market also targeted by Volkswagen and BMW.

In a statement, Tesla said that “Mr. Zhan has agreed to have the Chinese authorities complete the process of canceling the Tesla trademarks that he had registered or applied for, at no cost to Tesla.”

Based in China’s province of Guangdong, Zhan registered in 2006 the trademarks to the Tesla name in both English and Chinese and he had previously tried to sell the label to the U.S. company but negotiations collapsed. Tesla stated Wednedsay that it “has successfully concluded an agreement with Mr. Zhan Baosheng to completely and amicably resolve the dispute between the parties. These actions remove any doubt with respect to Tesla’s undisputed rights to its trademarks in China.”

By Gabriela Florea