Tesla Motors Inc (NASDAQ:TSLA) has been fighting a trademark battle in China, and now it appears like the problem has been solved —somewhat. The EV automaker applied for the trademark for its brand in 2009, but Zhan Baosheng had owned the trademark for that name since 2006. Now Tesla is apparently moving forward with a different name for its cars in China: Tuosule.
Tesla’s new Chinese name
Inautonews.com reports that inside sources claim that Tesla Motors Inc (NASDAQ:TSLA) is moving forward with the name Tuosule in China. According to the website, “the name of TESLA in China has been changed to ‘Tuosule’ which is a wholesales company and the sales company is also under examination and approval [sic].” As you can see, the translation of this statement makes it a bit unclear, but the name Tuosule can certainly be gleaned from it.
According to Inautonews.com, the brand name comes from the transliteration of the automaker’s actual name Tesla to the common Chinese dialect spoken by residents of Hong Kong. The company’s Hong Kong location has been around longer than the branch in mainland China, so that’s why the name follows the Hong Kong dialect.
Tesla's Beijing location opening soon
According to the site, Tesla Motors Inc (NASDAQ:TSLA)’s Beijing showroom will be opening soon and might only receive orders without being to sell vehicles to consumers there. The showroom is expected to be double the size of the average showroom in the U.S. and possibly even the biggest Tesla showroom in the world.
The automaker is expected to put the finishing touches over the next couple of weeks and then finish installing the necessary equipment.
Tesla's trademark battles
The battle with Baosheng is the second time Tesla Motors Inc (NASDAQ:TSLA) has faced a problem with its trademark in China. The company went up against Qiao Weiwei over the Tesla Motors trademark, although the company was able to buy that name from the previous owner.
Tesla Motors Inc (NASDAQ:TSLA) offered about $326,000 to Baosheng for the Tesla name, but he wants more than $32 million for it. The automaker is also seeking to have Baosheng’s trademark canceled on the grounds that he appears to have no expectation of using it. Baosheng claims to have electric vehicles in development, but there have been no signs of any upcoming products from Baosheng since the trademark was originally registered by him in 2006.