Like many other companies, electric car manufacturer Tesla Motors is looking to expand into China. It may have to put its plans on hold though due to trademark registration problems. In 2009, an opportunistic Chinese businessman, Zhan Baosheng, filed a trademark application with the Chinese trademark office covering the mark TESLA in 12 different classes, including cars and auto parts. The trademark application was ultimately granted giving Baosheng a trademark registration for the mark TESLA. So when Tesla filed its Chinese trademark application, the application was rejected, with the Chinese trademark office citing Baosheng’s earlier trademark registration. So, for the time being, Tesla has no legal right to commercially use its TESLA mark in China, which is a big problem for the car company looking to take advantage of the exploding Chinese demand for automobiles.
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