- A UK chicken shop owner has lost a lengthy legal dispute with Elon Musk’s Tesla.
- The two have been fighting over a trademark for a takeaway called Tesla Chicken & Pizza.
- The shop’s owner, Amanj Ali, was ordered to pay £4,000, or $5,053, to Tesla.
A chicken shop owner in Northern England has lost a lengthy legal dispute with Elon Musk’s Tesla.
Amanj Ali’s takeaway in Bury, Greater Manchester, called Tesla Chicken & Pizza, was at the center of a trademark dispute with the EV company.
Last November, Ali was ordered to pay £4,000, or $5,053, to Tesla after the UK’s Intellectual Property Office eventually sided with the auto giant.
Ali had registered the trademark for the takeaway in May 2022, citing the inventor Nikola Tesla as his inspiration for the name, the BBC reported.
When asked about the unusual inspiration, he told the outlet: “He was a kind of intelligent guy… in my young age, I was… reading about him, looking at his pictures.”
While Tesla did not originally object to the trademark, Ali was notified in November 2021 that the auto company had requested international protection for trademarks in the UK food and drink category, documents released by the IPO showed.
Ali opposed the request, fearing the company would try to invalidate his trademark for the takeaway. Almost a year later, Tesla did just that, claiming Ali’s trademark would take unfair advantage of the EV company’s established reputation.
Representatives for Tesla did not immediately respond to a request for comment from Business Insider, made outside normal working hours.
After another year of back-and-forth arguments, Ali eventually lost the case.
He told the BBC he would have appealed the decision but had already spent around £8,000 in legal fees and was struggling with the stress of the dispute. Ali added that the fight with Tesla had affected his sleeping and working habits.
“Imagine, I’m just a small businessman running one chicken shop, and there is a big company coming which is owned by the richest man in the world,” he told the outlet.
This is not the first time small businesses have tried to do battle with big-tech companies over trademark issues.
In October last year, Meta’s Threads ran into issues with a small UK software company called Threads Software Limited. Its lawyers told Meta to stop using the Threads name in the UK as it owned the British trademark.
The company claimed Meta made four offers to purchase the “threads.app” domain, which it declined.