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Trademark News: Tesla Trademarks "S3XY"

By: Florida Trademark Attorney Melissa D. Goolsarran Ramnauth

What did Tesla trademark?

Trademarks are valuable business assets. Recently, Tesla and Elon Musk have been in the news because Tesla tried to trademark "Model E."

Ford opposed the trademark application on the grounds that it sounded too similar to its famous "Model T," and based on a 2010 agreement between Ford and Tesla that prevented Tesla from using "E" for a model.

At the time, Ford did not trademark and use the "Model E." However, it based the opposition on the likelihood of confusion that "Model E" and "Model T" share.

Elon Musk previously trademarked "Model S" and "Model X." He joked that "Ford's killing SEX," and ultimately agreed not to use "Model E."

In the end, Tesla trademarked Model S, Model 3, Model X, and Model Y.


Why are trademarks important?

As mentioned, trademarks are important business assets. A registered trademark allows an owner to prevent another from using a mark that is too similar to the registered trademark. This can help preserve a brand's reputation and value.

All business owners are encouraged to have an attorney conduct a trademark clearance search to make sure that the mark(s) the company is using is not too similar to another mark. If it is too similar, the company could face a lawsuit and the company's valuation could drop. Your company could also have to rebrand with a new website, merchandise, and advertising material.

Moreover, a registered trademark makes enforcing and policing trademarks more efficient. It could cost you less if you have a registered trademark than if you do not. The USPTO's process for resolving trademark disputes is quicker. That could result in a company having to spend less on attorney's fees.

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