Tesla China recently revealed to the media that Tesla has won its trademark infringement lawsuit against Sino Drinks Food Company ("Sino Drinks"), a Chinese food and beverage maker that was selling "Tesla Beer" and "Tesla Soda". Sino Drinks has been selling the drink products with a logo that looks similar to the Tesla "T" trademark. The case against Sino Drinks was first filed last June in Shanghai. Tesla accused Sino Drinks of using its lawful trademarks and is requesting 5 million yuan in compensation. Recently, the Shanghai Higher People's Court finally ruled in favor of Tesla, upholding the first-instance verdict that Sino Drinks should immediately cease infringing on the exclusive rights of Tesla's trademarks, stop unfair competition practices, compensate Tesla with ¥5 million, and make a public statement in newspapers to mitigate the repercussions. In the case, the TESLA trademark have also been recognized and protected as a well-known trademark.
It is worth noting that the first instance court held that the trademark , obtained by Sino Drinks through assignment, designate beer in class 32. However, Sino Drinks used the trademark on some back labels of soda wine bottles. Soda wine falls in class 33. Therefore, it is no defense that Sino Drinks was using its registered trademark. Sino Drinks has obvious bad faith in obtaining multiple registered trademarks designating goods in class 32 and 32, which are identical or similar to the concerned TESLA trademarks. Sino Drinks aimed at covering up its trademark infringing activities by obtaining the trademarks.