Mexican Tequila Industry Cries Foul over Elon Musk's 'Teslaquila'

Tesla short-seller Jan Petter Sissener’s hedge fund incurred losses in October 2018

Tesla short-seller Jan Petter Sissener’s hedge fund incurred losses in October 2018

Tesla CEO Elon Musk is rather excited to bring the idea of a Tesla-branded tequila to life.

But it may not be that straightforward for Musk if the intensely no-nonsense Mexican tequila industry has anything to say about it. "It has warned that Musk would need to make it known that he's affiliating himself with a known tequila producer in order to go ahead, and that simply applying for a trademark for his own take on the name of the drink is not enough, as the name Teslaquila ".evokes the word tequila" and would therefore be considered whatever the Mexican equivalent of passing off might be.

According to a Wednesday Reuters report, the CRT has issued a statement arguing that "Teslaquila" is meant to make people think of tequila, and "tequila" is a protected word that can't be deployed by just anyone.

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Musk's company, the electric-car maker Tesla, has filed to trademark "Teslaquila" in the U.S., Mexico and the European Union.

Musk's latest venture has ruffled the feathers of Mexico's Tequila Regulatory Council (CRT), the body that determines what can and cannot be called tequila.

The CRT keeps tabs on producers to assure they adhere to strict denomination of origin rules, which dictate the spirit must be made in the Mexican states of Guanajuato, Jalisco, Michoacan, Nayarit or Tamaulipas, among other requirements.

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Musk previously tweeted "Teslaquila coming soon" and attached a "visual approximation" of a red and white label with the Tesla logo.

"Otherwise it would be making unauthorized use of the denomination of origin for tequila", it said, adding that the proposed name "Teslaquila" could make consumers confuse the drink with tequila.

Other high-profile celebrities have cashed in on tequila's new-found global appeal, as the sprit moves into the ranks of top-shelf liquors and sheds its image as a fiery booze drunk by desperadoes and frat boys.

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