Tesla Challenge to Door Patent Shot Down by Appeals Board

March 30, 2020, 4:19 PM

The Patent Trial and Appeal Board declined to review Nikola Corp.'s truck seat door patent that Tesla Inc. argued was obvious and therefore invalid.

Tesla in September asked the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office tribunal to review Nikola’s U.S. patent no. 10,077,084, that covers a semi-truck vehicle door that provides access to the cabin interior from a seat’s backside. The electric car maker, controlled by billionaire Elon Musk, argued that previous patents and publications show the same door position.

The appeal board, in weighing whether to grant a trial, found that Tesla, with its invalidity contentions, hadn’t “established a reasonable...

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