Nikola's $2 billion patent infringement lawsuit against Tesla that was filed in 2018 has been administratively closed by a federal judge.
The case was pulled off the North District Court of California's docket because the two automakers stopped responding. Nikola has been given a deadline of Oct. 6 to give a reason why the case should continue.
Otherwise, the court will permanently dismiss the case.
Nikola's Case Against Tesla Dismissed
Judge James Donator wrote in an order that Nikola has "dropped the ball," and the 2018 action is languishing without any explanation or good cause, according to The Verge.
The case is now administratively closed, and Nikola is ordered by the court to show cause in writing. It needs to be given by Oct. 6. Nikola needs to convince the court to continue the case, or else it will be dismissed for failure to prosecute.
Both companies have stopped responding to the court's requests over the past few months. Donato wrote that on July 7, the court asked the two car companies to schedule new hearing dates for the case. However, neither company responded to the request.
On Sept. 2, the court vacated other proceedings on claim construction because of the lack of response. As of Sept. 30, neither company has advised the court of proposed new hearing dates.
The representatives for both Tesla and Nikola declined to comment on the matter, according to Freight Waves.
Nikola has had to spend a lot of time and money solving several company issues. After going public last year, the company's founder Trevor Milton was accused of fraud after short-selling the research firm Hindenburg Research.
Milton was also accused of faking a video of the company's truck driving down a road, according to Forbes.
The automaker conducted its own investigation into the fraud allegations, and they found out that some of them were true. Milton was indicted by the Department of Justice in July for multiple counts of fraud, while Securities and Exchange Commission filed a civil complaint.
Nikola Accused Tesla of Infringing Patents
In the case filed in 2018, Nikola accused the automaker of infringing patents that the company had filed for its hydrogen-powered trucks. Nikola stated that Tesla is using the same mid-entry doors, wraparound windshield, and aerodynamic fuselage on its Tesla Semi.
The company also accused Tesla's recruiter of poaching their chief engineer and claimed that it was enough evidence that Tesla wanted their designs. By stealing the design, Nikola stated that Tesla was causing a lot of confusion in the auto industry. Letting the infringement continue would eventually cost Nikola $2 billion in sales.
Tesla stated at the time that it was obvious that the lawsuit had no merit at all.
The two car companies have argued over the last three years regarding the patents that would make it to trial. Last year, Tesla accused Nikola of stealing the design from a Croatian company called Rimac, but no proof was presented.
In 2020, Tesla lost a bid with the trademark office and was not able to invalidate the said patents. Nikola wants to move forward with the lawsuit but gives no reason why they won't respond to the court's requests.
Despite the case against one if its patents, the automaker did not stop revealing them to the public. In July, Tesla revealed its patent for its electric trucks.
This article is owned by Tech Times
Written by Sophie Webster