Tesla CEO Elon Musk has once again teased the coming arrival of the all-electric car maker’s very own brand of agave liquor, Teslaquila. A late Friday night Twitter comment and answer session by the business mogul led to a status update request on the branded liquor to which Musk replied, “Coming soon!”
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) March 30, 2019
The origin story of Teslaquila involves an April Fool’s joke last year wherein a photo of Musk sleeping up against a Model 3 was posted on his Twitter account, apparently hungover after declaring Tesla’s filing of “all chapters” of bankruptcy, including the fictional “Chapter 14 and a half (the worst one).” A proposed bottle of Teslaquila was later posted on his (now deleted) Instagram account, demonstrating that the CEO was serious about producing the liquor, specifically in 750ml containers at 40% alcohol content.
A US trademark application for Teslaquila was filed in October; however, in January this year, a rejection of the mark was issued by the trademark office citing another liquor brand that was deemed to be confusingly similar to Teslaquila: Spirit Tesla. The Spirit Tesla trademark is owned by Serbian brewing company Valjevsko, and the alcoholic beverages sold under the mark include a picture of Nikola Tesla.
On the outset, the similarities between the two names – Teslaquila vs. Spirit Tesla – may not seem significant given the ubiquitous nature of Tesla’s car brand and the well-known, fun antics of its CEO. But the role of the US Patent and Trademark Office is to protect consumers from confusion. Thus, two liquor brands with names inspired by the famous inventor could (maybe, possibly) mislead a buyer into thinking the same company was selling both products. Tesla’s trademark attorneys will most likely file a response arguing against the rejection, and they have until the end of July to take such action.
At the time of the original April 1st Teslaquila tweet, Tesla had just released its Q1 2018 production and deliveries report which noted a 40% increase in production from Q4 2017. Included in that number was a fourfold growth in the production rate for the Model 3 which led to a milestone of 2,020 Model 3 cars made within 7 days. Tesla’s stocks rebounded in response, and Musk’s humor appeared to be a wink at the company’s detractors.
Teslaquila’s debut anniversary is only a few days away, so perhaps Musk has something planned for his “bad news” beverage-of-choice, hence the “coming soon” tease. A celebration of Tesla’s earlier-than-expected release of the $35,000 Model 3 Standard Range and Model Y unveiling would certainly be a call for celebratory shots of the branded liquor. Until then, fans of the Musk and his companies await.