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UK takeaway boss forced to pay out £12k after legal battle with Tesla over takeaway name

UK takeaway boss forced to pay out £12k after legal battle with Tesla over takeaway name

The Bury chicken shop boss had registered his new shop name in 2020

A UK chicken shop boss was forced to pay out £12,000 after a legal battle with Tesla.

Amanj Ali, 41, wanted to call his new takeaway ‘Tesla Chicken & Pizza’ in homage to Nikola Tesla, Serbian-American inventor and the Godfather of electricity as we know it.

In May 2020, he registered the name without objections for food and drink services but plans to get it open where stalled by the pandemic.

Ali already has Colorado’s in Greater Manchester but decided his new spot would need a different name as it would have a different identity – serving pizza as well.

So, he landed on ‘Tesla Chicken & Pizza’ after being inspired by Nikola Tesla and even planned to have a mural dedicated to him.

The boss man said: “In my young age, I read about him... I don’t know whether it is true or not, but some people claim he invented a lot of things.”

But in November 2021, Ali got emails from the UK’s Intellectual Property Office (IPO) saying that another party had applied for the ‘Tesla’ trademark in the same section.

And after some researching, he realised it was the actual Tesla behind the application.

He said: “When we Googled that address, it was the headquarters of Tesla Motors.

“I’m a micro businessman being faced [with] one of the richest man’s companies, [so] I found a solicitor, and I called them."

This then led to an absolute ‘David and Goliath’ naming battle.

Ali had to payout £12k in a fine and fees.

Working with his lawyer, Ali said representatives from Tesla offered him £750 to sell the rights to his trademark to them in May 2022.

But he wasn’t happy with this proposal and claims he then joked with his legal team that only '£750,000' would be enough to give it up.

The takeaway boss said: “At that time, they kind of made me laugh and I was angry, I just quickly replied to my solicitor, ‘Tell them my client will accept your offer with a ‘k’ next to it.'

“But my solicitor replied, ‘He won’t accept the £750 but instead, he will accept £750,000’… Tesla's solicitor used that against me.”

The Tesla reps later successfully argued he had acted in ‘bad faith’ and court documents reveal how the lawyers argued a tweet from Musk in January 2018 made clear his ambitions to start up a restaurant franchise with the company name.

It read: “Gonna put an old school drive-in, roller skates & rock restaurant at one of the new Tesla Supercharger locations in LA.”

He joked with his lawyer about wanting £750k.

The Tesla team went on to suggest Ali was ‘familiar with the trademark system’ and was aware of Musk’s huge billionaire fortune.

But after the case, Ali said many people were aware of the boss’ wealth and questioned whether the tweet was a legitimate business proposal as it hadn’t yet happened.

He fumed: “I said, 'I haven’t opened my restaurant yet, but you haven’t either?'"

And he said he won’t be inviting him over for chicken anytime soon.

Ali continued: “I was so disappointed after all this. All I can say is it is just because a big company [took on] a small company – nothing else.

“When I lost it, I was kind of hurting, but I just tried to keep a secret and not tell it to anybody.”

As part of the IPO's ruling in late November last year, Ali was forced to pay Tesla £4,000 while also shelling out £8,000 in fees for his solicitor.

But despite the crushing defeat, he says he doesn't bear a grudge toward Musk.

LADbible has contacted Tesla for comment.

Featured Image Credit: SWNS

Topics: Food And Drink, Money, UK News, Tesla, Business