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New lawsuit claims Tesla ripped-off semi-truck design

by Drew Johnson

Tesla may have violated patent laws with its new semi.

Tesla Motors is facing a new lawsuit filed by a hydrogen truck maker over the design of the company's recently unveiled electric semi-truck.

Utah-based Nikola Motor Co filed the suit on Tuesday, claiming Tesla's semi looks "substantially" similar to the hydrogen-powered truck it introduced in late 2016. The suit claims Nikola was issued six design patents for its truck's "wrap windshield, mid-entry door, fuselage, fender, side cladding and the overall design," according to Reuters.

Nikola estimates the damages from Tesla's alleged design infringement exceed $2 billion.

Tesla, meanwhile, denies all claims in the lawsuit. "It's patently obvious there is no merit to this lawsuit," a Tesla spokesman told Reuters.

Tesla has not yet begun regular production of its semi-truck, but plans to do so next year.