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Faraday Bicycles suing electric vehicle startup Faraday Future over trademark

Published April 25, 2017

SAN JOSE, Calif. (BRAIN) — Faraday Bicycles, the electric bike brand purchased by Pon Holdings in January, has filed suit against Faraday Future, a California startup hoping to challenge Tesla in the electric vehicle market. The bicycle company is alleging trademark infringement.

Faraday Bicycle says it registered the FARADAY mark for bicycles in October 2013 with the US Patent and Trademark Office. The USPTO has rejected Faraday Future's attempt to register Faraday Future based on the likelihood of confusion with the Faraday bicycle mark, according to a complaint filed Tuesday in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California in San Jose.

The complaint said Faraday Future's trademark application was first rejected in March 2016. Faraday Bicycles notified Faraday Future of its trademark and alleged infringement in a letter sent in March this year.

"Defendant's use of the FARADAY mark to operate its electric vehicle company and to advertise its products has created, and is likely to continue to create, consumer confusion and brand/reputational harm to Faraday Bicycles among consumers who are mistaken as to the origin of each party's goods, or who mistakenly believe Plaintiff and Defendant are commonly owned, operated or otherwise affiliated, connected or associated," the complaint reads.

"Members of the public have been, and are likely to continue being, confused as to the origin, sponsorship, authorization and/or approval by Faraday Bicycles of Defendant's company and products. This has caused, and continues to cause, irreparable harm to Plaintiff's brand and reputation, for which there is no adequate remedy at law," it continued.

Faraday Bicycles is asking the court for an injunction barring the vehicle company from using the Faraday trademark; it is also seeking unspecified damages and legal fees.

According to its website, Faraday Future has more than 1,400 employees and has begun building a $1 billion factory near Las Vegas. The company has announced plans for an autonomous vehicle and began accepting orders for its FF 91 car in January this year, with delivery planned for 2018.

A Faraday Future representative said the company does not comment on ongoing litigation. Faraday Bicycle did not respond to a request to comment on the suit.

Michael Faraday was a 19th century British physicist whose discoveries related to electromagnetism were critical in developing electric motors. He could not be reached.

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