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Did Elon Musk obtain permission to use the name "Tesla" I wonder?

jbcarioca

Well-Known Member
Supporting Member
Feb 3, 2015
5,985
37,770
Just wondering if he got permission from the Serbian American's family.
He probably did but just curious.
Imagine of Elon had to change the name of his car company?
Don't want to even think of it.
He surely did not! The company existed and was named prior to his involvement. It was formed in July 2003 and Musk joined in February 2004.
Were the situation have been different it is not really clear that the name "Tesla" could be protected anyway, despite the obvious lineage. For a related example the 'tesla'=10K Gauss could be claimed to have had commercial intent also. It would be an entirely different question were the name to have been Edison, Firestone, Crapper or Ford all of which were explited commercially during the lifetime of the persons in question. In any event there would be a difficult case to make for the Tesla name since Nicola never married and had no progeny (OK, 'known progency', since there conceivably could have been).

Ergo...there is nobody from whom to seek permission, his name was not commercialised during his lifetime, so there is no potentially injured party to make such a claim. Thus, there was nobody from whom to seek permission.

This was an interesting question...
 
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LetsGoFast

Active Member
Oct 13, 2014
1,329
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Virginia
If the company was named "Nicola Tesla Motors Inc" maybe they'd have a problem.

It would be weird, but as best I understand the law that would be perfectly OK. In fact, a Nikola Tesla Corporation was formed in Czechoslovakia just six years after his death, which was subsequently purchased by Ericsson and still is a major telco in eastern Europe, as far as I know.
 

jbcarioca

Well-Known Member
Supporting Member
Feb 3, 2015
5,985
37,770
It would be weird, but as best I understand the law that would be perfectly OK. In fact, a Nikola Tesla Corporation was formed in Czechoslovakia just six years after his death, which was subsequently purchased by Ericsson and still is a major telco in eastern Europe, as far as I know.
At least in the US no commercial exploitation during life and no direct descendents makes this perfectly legal, as it would be in this situation nearly everywhere. BTW, my reference to this dates from ancient times during a class I took on tort law personality rights, involving among of things the Lincoln Motor car Company. These days the dominant text on the issue in Europe is this
Personality Rights in European Tort Law | European Law | Cambridge University Press
 

TEG

Teslafanatic
Moderator
Aug 20, 2006
21,994
9,265
Many other entities have used the Tesla name as well...

tesla-colour75a.jpg


el83_tesla_01_xl.jpg


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2555565888_0c0d7700a5_z.jpg
 

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