In mid-August, a court in China has passed a judgment in favor of Tesla China against ‘Tesla Beer’, a trademark owned by Zhongyin Food Co., Ltd (Zhongyin).
The court has acknowledged Tesla series of ‘well-known’ trademarks and has ordered Zhongyin to immediately cease infringing on the exclusive rights of Tesla and stop unfair competition, and to compensate Tesla US$690,000 while at the same time publish a statement on the newspapers to eliminate any impact on the judgment.
Zhongyin tries to appeal but the court decided to uphold the original judgment.
Since 2019, a series of alcoholic beverages called Tesla Soda and Tesla Beer have been circulating on the market. The trademark features a T-shaped logo, and the promotional materials often include phrases such as “The pioneer brand of pre-mixed drinks in America and an internationally top-notch brand.” Some promotional images even feature the Tesla Model X car model which could have created unnecessary confusion to consumers.
Tesla has filed a lawsuit against the company after discovering the infringement. Tesla China stated that as a leader in the electric vehicle industry, Tesla has gained high recognition worldwide and quickly became well-known after entering China. As such, Zhongyin is taking advantage of Tesla’s good reputation to gain unfair and illegal advantage in the market. The repeated us of Tesla name and cars in advertising misled consumers and constituted a trademark infringement.