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Nikola founder bought truck designs from third party

Enlarge / A Nikola Badger pickup truck. (credit: Nikola Motors)

The original design for Nikola’s flagship truck was purchased by founder Trevor Milton from a designer in Croatia, according to two people with knowledge of the matter, despite company claims in a 2018 lawsuit that the vehicle was initially designed by Mr. Milton “in his basement..

The truck, the Nikola One, is at the centre of a $2 billion lawsuit with Tesla, in which Nikola alleges its rival infringed on its patents. Nikola claims in that lawsuit that Mr. Milton began designing the model in 2013, with other company staff later working on it.

In a rebuttal to the lawsuit filed last week, Tesla alleged that Nikola could not protect the designs because they did not originate from the company itself, but from Adriano Mudri, a designer based in Croatia.

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