Nikola says that Tesla's Semi, which was revealed in November 2017, too closely resembles its Nikola One, a hydrogen fuel-cell vehicle that was revealed in December 2016.
Nikola says it demanded "that Tesla not unveil its Semi until Tesla's infringement had been resolved." The US Patent and Trademark Office granted Nikola Motor Company six design patents between February 2018 and April 2018, protecting the use of the Nikola One's "wrap windshield, mid-entry door, fuselage, fender, side cladding, and the overall design of a semi," all of which Nikola says are unique in the trucking industry.
Nikola claims in its complaint that it has pre-sold about 7,000 trucks and that "total reservations are currently worth more than $6.3 billion in revenue." Tesla's design has caused confusion among customers.
Further, any problems with the Tesla Semi will be attributed to the Nikola One, causing harm to the Nikola brand.
Nikola has previously said that it would build 360 hydrogen fueling stations in the US.