A couple months back, we had a funny story about a lawsuit filed against Faraday Future for allegedly failing to pay a broker it hired to coordinate a $1.5 million sale of the website ff.com. Faraday, an electric vehicle start-up with known financial struggles, couldn’t even pick a name without landing in court. Here’s the punch line to that joke: The name Faraday is already used by an electric bicycle maker, which accused FF on Wednesday of trademark infringement for using ‘FARADAY’. Oops.
According to the 13-page complaint filed in federal court, Faraday Bicycles says that it registered the trademark for ‘FARADAY’ in October 2013, which “predates any use of the name ‘Faraday’ by Defendant, and predates the existence of Defendant as an organized entity.” FF launched publicly in the fall of 2015, and incorporated that same year.
Faraday Bicycles goes on to say that FF is “attempting” to enter the electric automobile market and alleges that the car start-up is “well-funded.” (Their words, not ours.)
Faraday Bicycles is asking the judge to issue an injunction that would bar FF from using ‘Faraday’, along with unspecified legal fees. Reached for comment, a FF spokesperson told Jalopnik, “We do not comment on ongoing litigation matters.”
The bicycle maker—which, by the way, don t mess with cycling enthusiasts—may have some ground to stand on. According to the suit, FF attempted to obtain a trademark for Faraday Future, but the United States Patent and Trademark Office rejected the request “based on a likelihood of confusion with Plaintiff’s registered mark Faraday.” Here’s that rejection notice:
Coincidence or not, USPTO records show the agency issued a Notice of Publication for the trademark of Faraday Future today, less than 24 hours after the suit was filed. The notice says, “The mark of the application identified appears to be entitled to registration.”
Faraday Future has said that it plans to launch production of its flagship vehicle the FF 91 sometime in 2018. But, as far as we know, phase 2 of production at its dirt-only site for a potential factory in Nevada remains just that: dirt. At least there’s good Faraday name stories to share in the meantime.