Flamboyant billionaire and Tesla’s CEO Elon Musk could be headed for a trademark battle of Teslaquila Drink with Mexico’s tequila industry. In October, Musk announced a new brand of tequila named ‘Teslaquila’, vaguely tweeting it was ‘coming soon’ accompanying a visual approximation of Tesla logo above a red and white label and a caption stating ‘100% Pure De Agave’.
However, agave-based drink’s industry opposed Musk’s efforts to trademark the alcoholic drink and Mexico’s Tequila Regulatory Council (CRT) said, “Not so fast” to Musk’s tweet. As reported in Reuters, CRT argued that Teslaquila drink includes the word Tequila and it is a ‘protected word’.
Elon Musk, the predominant electric car manufacturer, is known for his ambitious and highly advanced projects including rocket building and constricting high-speed transit tunnels. Reuters reports that Musk could be setting his sights on disrupting Mexico’s tequila industry and filed a trademark application in the U.S, Mexico, European Union and Jamaica, describing Teslaquila as a ‘distilled blue agave liquor’ and ‘distilled agave liquor’.
CRT, run by the Mexican Government, takes tequila very seriously and is keeping tabs on producers to assure strict adherence to the rules of origin, which state the spirit to be made in the Mexican states of Jalisco, Guanajuato, Nayarit, Michoacan, or Tamaulipas, among other requirements.
In a statement, CRT said that Musk must associate with an authorized tequila industry to make Teslaquila drink viable as tequila and work in accordance with specific standards and request authorization from Industrial Property Institute of Mexico. Otherwise, it would be making unauthorized use of the denomination of tequila’s origin and with the proposed name, the drink may confuse consumers with tequila, it added.
Tesla declined to respond to requests for comment on the matter. As tequila has moved into the ranks of top-shelf liquor, it has a range of deals in recent times, other high-profile celebrities have also cashed in on the spirit’s new international appeal.
Last year, George Clooney’s sophisticated and popular tequila brand Casamigos was sold to Diageo for $1 billion. In the latest deal, Barcardi is set to buy Patron Spirits International, a fine tequila maker in January for $5.1 billion. In 2017, in an initial public offering of ‘Jose Cuervo’, Mexico’s Beckmann family raised over $900 million.