Takeaway: The voluntary dismissal of Nikola and Tesla in their IP battle signifies that not every IP battle is worth fighting in court.

Phoenix-based startup, Nikola Corp., first sued the giant vehicle manufacturer, Tesla Inc., in May 2018, claiming that its designs on an electric semi-truck were stolen by Tesla. Later, in September 2020, Tesla counterclaimed inequitable conduct and invalidity.

Tesla further denied the allegations and argued that Nikola obtained its design patents through inequitable conduct.

The judge presiding over the case said, “Plaintiff Nikola Corp. bears the burden of prosecuting this case and moving it to a resolution. It has dropped the ball, and this 2018 action is languishing without explanation or apparent good cause.”

Nikola and Tesla did not give a reason for the dismissal, which would occur without prejudice and with each party covering their own attorney fees and costs.