Amanj Ali, a 41-year-old restaurateur from Manchester, has been hit with a £12,000 bill after losing a trademark battle with Tesla Inc, the electric car company led by Elon Musk.
Ali had registered the name “Tesla Chicken and Pizza” in May 2020 as a tribute to the 19th-century inventor Nikola Tesla, known for his revolutionary work in high voltage electricity transmission.
Trademark Clash with Tesla Inc
Despite registering his business before Tesla sought to protect its trademark in the UK in November 2021, Ali’s homage to Nikola Tesla faced opposition from Tesla Inc.
The dispute centered around the fact that Tesla Inc’s trademark covered ‘anticipatory’ food and drink services, indicating a potential expansion into the restaurant business.
Disappointment and Legal Consequences
Following a ruling by the Intellectual Property Office (IPO) in favor of Tesla Inc, Ali expressed his disappointment and the financial strain of the legal battle.
Despite having registered the trademark with plans to open a new takeaway business, the pandemic delayed his restaurant launch, and subsequent developments led to the legal clash.
From Tribute to Legal Challenge
Ali, whose other shop in Bury is named Colorado’s, had envisioned “Tesla Chicken & Pizza” as a new brand with a distinct identity, combining chicken and pizza offerings.
The name was inspired by Nikola Tesla, and Ali had plans for a mural dedicated to the inventor in the new restaurant. The trademark was successfully registered in ‘class 43’ for food and drink services.
Discovery of Tesla Inc’s Involvement
In November 2021, Ali discovered that another party had applied for the ‘Tesla’ trademark in the same section. Upon researching, he found that the applicant was Tesla Motors, the headquarters of which he located through an internet search.
Legal Negotiations and Unsettling Offer
Representatives from Tesla approached Ali with a £750 offer to purchase the rights to his trademark in May 2022.
Displeased with the proposal, Ali jokingly suggested a figure of ‘£750,000’ as the amount he would consider.
This response was later used against him in the legal proceedings.
Elon Musk’s Tweet and Legal Arguments
Court documents revealed Tesla’s lawyers referencing a tweet by Elon Musk from January 2018, where Musk expressed ambitions to start a restaurant franchise using the company’s name.
They argued that Ali was familiar with the trademark system and Musk’s financial status due to his social media posts.
Outcome and Financial Consequences
In the IPO’s ruling in late November 2023, Ali was ordered to pay £4,000 to Tesla Inc and incurred £8,000 in solicitor’s fees.
Despite the financial setback, Ali harbors no ill feelings and remains focused on his business endeavors.
Closing Perspective and Contacting Tesla Inc
Reflecting on the legal battle, Ali stated he holds no hatred and remains busy with his work. Tesla Inc, founded in 2003, has not provided comments on the matter.Share on Facebook «||» Share on Twitter «||» Share on Reddit «||» Share on LinkedIn