Nikola Motor has abandoned a $2 billion lawsuit it brought against Tesla in 2018, alleging that the company stole design features and used them in the Semi. Nikola said the designs were lifted from their Nikola One semi-truck.
Nikola sued Tesla in 2018, claiming that features of their vehicle, the Nikola One, were exploited in the design of the Tesla Semi. Nikola stated that Tesla's design produced "consumer uncertainty," causing sales to shift away from Nikola and toward Tesla. "Tesla's infringement has hurt Nikola's potential to attract investors and partners since investors can now team up with Tesla to build an alternative fuel semi-truck." "Nikola anticipates that the damage caused by Tesla's violation would exceed $2 billion," the business claimed in its lawsuit.
Tesla denied the claims, stating that “it’s patently obvious there is no merit to this lawsuit.” A spokesperson stated this to The Verge in 2018.
Now, Bloomberg is reporting that Tesla and Nikola have both agreed to drop the lawsuit, as a joint filing on Tuesday showed that both companies had agreed to withdraw any and all claims and counter-claims against each other. Since 2018, the outfit has stayed basically unchanged. Judge James Donato, who presided over the case, issued a fresh order in October requiring the parties to make progress. According to Donato, the lawsuit was dropped due to a lack of reaction from both sides.
“The case will not be dismissed at this time for failure to prosecute, but that may change if Nikola does not move this case forward to resolution in an efficient and timely manner,” Donato wrote in an October filing. “A technology tutorial is set for January 13, 2022. The claim construction hearing is set for January 27, 2022. The case will remain administratively closed pending further order.” Administratively closed indicates that the court has designated it as a low-priority matter that will not be pursued at this time.
The trial's halt may have been caused by the indictment of former Nikola leader Trevor Milton on fraud charges, which stem from prosecutors' accusations that he deceived investors about the company's development. After Hindenburg Research published a study calling Nikola "an sophisticated hoax," suspicions about the firm began to fade.