Faraday Future Facing Trademark Lawsuit Over Its Own Name

Matt Posky
by Matt Posky
faraday future facing trademark lawsuit over its own name

Faraday Future, which spent 2016 as the automotive poster child for bad news, continues to face a myriad of problems. In this most recent hardship, we learn Faraday couldn’t even manage to choose a company name without stirring a legal backlash.

Faraday Bicycles, which manufactures electric-assisted pedal bikes, has filed a trademark lawsuit against Faraday Future in U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California. In the complaint, filed Tuesday, the e-bike company states Faraday Future has been infringing on its name — which it officially trademarked in October 2013. The legal action follows a November claim against FF over the acquisition of its domain name and nearly endless financial woes.

Faraday Future has only been in existence since 2015. The lawsuit, shared by Jalopnik, includes information on a rejected trademark application from 2016. The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office denied the request after reasoning the automaker’s name would easily be confused with the bicycle brand. Faraday Bicycles is currently seeking an injunction and unspecified damages.

Since both companies derive their names from a nineteenth century British physicist whose research paved the way for later electric discoveries, I’m not inclined to give one more credit than the other in coming up with a unique name. It isn’t as if the Faraday family is involved with either company. However, trademark law is pretty clear. You can apply it to practically any phrase or word and successfully prohibit anyone else from using it.

While Faraday Future probably could have made a case for itself by explaining how dissimilar its hypothetical product is from a bicycle, the trademark rejection from 2016 is pretty damning. So, even if FF manages to survive the onslaught of legal problems and financial trouble, it might have to continue on as Edison Motors if an injunction passes.

However, this could be a blessing in disguise. Faraday doesn’t yet produce anything with its name stamped on it, and distancing itself from a name synonymous with bad publicity could hold some advantages.

[Image: Faraday Future]

Join the conversation
2 of 6 comments
  • Whitworth Whitworth on Apr 27, 2017

    The US needs some major reforms to copyright laws. "faraday" is almost like using the word "electric" in your name. The current legal environment is set up to benefit lawyers and shakedowns.

  • Bloodnok Bloodnok on Apr 28, 2017

    saddest thing about this is faraday bicycles make the ugliest retro-grouch electric bikes imaginable. who'd ever mistake their sad crap for the chinese vapourware car maker's?

  • Inside Looking Out You should care. With GM will die America. All signs are there. How about the Arsenal of Democracy? Toyota?
  • DenverMike What else did anyone think, when GM was losing tens of billions a year, year after year?
  • Bill Wade GM says they're killing Android Auto and Apple Carplay. Any company that makes decisions like that is doomed to die.
  • Jeff S I don't believe gm will die but that it will continue to shrink in product and market share and it will probably be acquired by a foreign manufacturer. I doubt gm lacks funds as it did in 2008 and that they have more than enough cash at hand but gm will not expand as it did in the past and the emphasis is more on profitability and cutting costs to the bone. Making gm a more attractive takeover target and cut costs at the expense of more desirable and reliable products. At the time of Farago's article I was in favor of the Government bailout more to save jobs and suppliers but today I would not be in favor of the bailout. My opinions on gm have changed since 2008 and 2009 and now I really don't care if gm survives or not.
  • Kwik_Shift I was a GM fan boy until it ended in 2013 when I traded in my Avalanche to go over to Nissan.