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Nikola’s ridiculous $2 billion Tesla Semi lawsuit might go away in a few days

Nikola appears to finally be letting go of its ridiculous $2 billion lawsuit against Tesla. Nikola had claimed that Tesla stole the design for the Tesla Semi.

As we previously reported, Nikola alleged that Tesla’s electric truck design infringes on its existing patents. Specifically, a series of three design patents that Nikola obtained for the design of its Nikola One truck unveiled in 2016 – a year before Tesla unveiled its own electric truck.

Nikola was asking for $2 billion in damages from Tesla in the lawsuit.

Over the last year, Nikola has run into a lot of other issues unrelated to Tesla. Last year, Nikola was in hot water after a report from Hindenburg Research made several allegations exposing deception by Nikola and its founder Trevor Milton, including several claims corroborated in previous reports from Electrek and Bloomberg.

Nikola issued a response to those claims, but as we reported, the response lacked any rebuttal of the main allegations of deception by the company and its founder, Milton.

The most damning claim was that it faked the first video of its hydrogen truck driving. The company even admitted to it, without issuing an apology, and instead claimed its deception was fine due to a technicality. Milton ended up leaving the company as the pressure started to increase.

In July, Milton was officially charged with three counts of criminal fraud over false claims he made about the company. It looks like these issues have taken Nikola’s attention away from their $2 billion lawsuit against Tesla.

The Verge obtained a new document in the lawsuit that shows the judge shelving the case for a lack of response:

Nikola “has dropped the ball, and this 2018 action is languishing without explanation or apparent good cause,” Judge James Donato wrote in an order to show cause published this week. “Consequently, the case is administratively closed. Nikola is ordered to show cause in writing by October 6, 2021, why the case should not be dismissed for failure to prosecute.”

On July 7, 2021, the court reached out to both parties about the situation and it says neither Nikola, the plaintiff driving this lawsuit, nor Tesla, the defendant, responded.

Nikola now only has a few days to respond or the case will be dismissed.

As we previously reported, Tesla has always denied Nikola’s claims, which are based on some loose resemblance between a few design aspects of its original truck design and the Tesla Semi.

In a response to the lawsuit last year, Tesla even claimed that Nikola stole its truck design from a Rimac designer.


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