Mexico Stops Elon Musk From Using the Name 'Teslaquila'

Instead, we now have the not-quite-as-catchy 'Tesla Tequila'.
Chris Young

"Teslaquila" first appeared as an April Fool's joke on Elon Musk's Twitter two years ago. Though the product recently became a reality, Tesla ultimately wasn't allowed to register the "Teslaquila" as an official brand name.

As The Verge points out, "Teslaquila" isn't possible due to tequila industry regulations. The word "tequila" is a designation of origin, meaning the right to use the word belongs only to the tequila agribusiness.


It was worth a shot

The problem with "Teslaquila" as a brand name is that it is simply too similar to the word tequila, according to the Tequila Regulatory Council (CRT).

As The Verge reports, Martín Muñoz, head of the certification body at the CRT, said the “Teslaquila” trademark was denied under Mexican industrial property law because it could cause confusion or misunderstanding as to the origin of the product.

On July 16, 2019, a team representing Elon Musk challenged the Mexican Institute of Industrial Property's trademark denial by saying "Teslaquila" was a natural variant from Tesla and the suffix "-quila." Ultimately, they were not able to have the denial overruled. 

Last February, Muñoz says, Tesla abandoned "Teslaquila" and chose to re-brand their product simply as "Tesla Tequila."

'A benefit to all tequila producers'

Tesla Tequila is now registered both in Mexico and the United States. The tequila itself is made at the Destiladora del Valle de Tequila, in Tequila, Jalisco.

On November 5, Tesla Tequila was launched in an impressive lightning-shaped bottle at $250. It sold out the same day.

Despite their differences over the branding name, Martin Muñoz of the Tequila Regulatory Council says that the organization is actually happy about Tesla's new tequila hitting the market.

"Today the tequila industry has someone as important as Elon Musk representing it," Muñoz told The Verge. "This is, without a doubt, a benefit to all the tequila producers because he is giving his image as an important businessman and he is showing he wants to comply with the rules of this industry. We welcome Elon Musk and the Tesla tequila brand."

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