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Tesla gets an ‘E’ for effort in trademark standoff with Ford

Electric car manufacturer abandons application to trademark ‘Model E,’ a name that has a history with Ford

The Model T is, of course, one of the most famous names in automobile history. It’s hard to discuss the history of the Ford Motor Company without mentioning it. But who’s ever heard of the Model E? 

If you follow newer automobile models, though, you may have heard of the Model S and the Model X. These are names of two cars, a sedan and an SUV, developed by Tesla. In keeping with their naming theme, the automaker had previously submitted an application to the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) to trademark “Model E,” rumored to be the name it would use for its next-generation electric car. 

A few months after Tesla filed an application for Model E, Ford did the same. This is not the first time that Ford has flirted with that name. Ford filed an application to register the name Model E several times in the early 2000s. In 2001, it sought to use the term for electric-powered boats and other vehicles, such as cars, scooters and trucks. That trademark was registered in 2003 but abandoned in 2010. It also registered the term Model E in 2002 to refer to computer messages related to motor vehicles, but abandoned that trademark in 2006. 

Now, it seems, Tesla has decided to abandon its application for the name Model E, apparently ceding the term to Ford. Both automakers are tight-lipped as to whether or not the companies discussed the future of the trademark, but a spokesperson from Tesla did say that the matter has been resolved “amicably.”


For more trademark and copyright news, check out the following:


Quentin Tarantino lashes out at Gawker once again

Now you see it; now you don’t (Wait, yes you do!)

Why King’s trademark application on ‘Candy’ is not so sweet

Prince and the Copyright Revolution (Part 1)



Senior Editor and Community Manager

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Rich Steeves

Richard P. Steeves is Senior Editor and Community Manager of InsideCounsel magazine, where he covers the intellectual property and compliance beats. Rich earned a B.A....

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