Tesla Motors-Fisker Auto case to go to arbitration

After Tesla files a suit against Fisker for theft of luxury electric car design, Fisker is granted request to have the suit go to arbitration.

Martin LaMonica Former Staff writer, CNET News
Martin LaMonica is a senior writer covering green tech and cutting-edge technologies. He joined CNET in 2002 to cover enterprise IT and Web development and was previously executive editor of IT publication InfoWorld.
Martin LaMonica

Tesla Motors' case against Fisker Automotive over allegedly stolen electric car designs is scheduled to go to arbitration.

The San Mateo Superior Court on Wednesday granted Fisker Automotive's request for arbitration, according to the court's records. A case management conference is scheduled for later in August.

The Tesla Roadster Corinne Schulze/CNET Networks

Tesla filed a complaint against Henrik Fisker's design company, Fisker Coachbuild, in April, accusing the company of copying its luxury sedan designs.

The suit said that Fisker and Bernhard Koehler, Fisker Coachbuild's chief operating officer, accepted the contract "to gain access to confidential design information and trade secrets, then announced a competing vehicle."

Fisker Automotive responded in May, when it filed for arbitration.

The contract between Fisker and Tesla had a clause that required that any disputes be handled through arbitration in Orange County, Calif., within 90 days, according to Fisker. Tesla filed its suit against Fisker in San Mateo Superior Court.

On Thursday, Henrik Fisker released a statement, saying his company is "extremely pleased" with the court's decision.

"Fisker Automotive is extremely pleased with this ruling because it allows it to get a prompt and economical resolution of Tesla's claims, all of which are believed to be without merit and brought for improper purposes," he said in a statement.

Tesla Motors did not immediately respond to a request for comment.