Tesla is already accusing Xpeng, a Chinese EV startup, to have stolen some of its intellectual property, but it’s not stopping the company from straight-up copying its website design.
Last year, Tesla initiated a lawsuit against Guangzhi Cao, a former Autopilot engineer who quit to join Xpeng’s autonomous driving team.
In the lawsuit, the automaker claims that Cao downloaded the Autopilot source code to his personal device through Airdrop before leaving and selling it to Xpeng when joining the company.
Tesla wants proof that Xpeng is not using its Autopilot source code as part of its own driver-assist features, which are extremely similar to Tesla’s.
Now a tipster has pointed us to Xpeng’s website for its new P7 electric sedan, and it’s a clear copy of Tesla’s own website design:
Henry Xia, who founded Xpeng in 2014, admitted openly that he was influenced by Tesla and by the automaker’s announcement that they were open-sourcing their patents.
It was reportedly the first company to actually take up Tesla on using their patents for free.
However, Tesla didn’t actually open-source its patent in the truest sense of the term, but rather promised not to sue anyone who uses its patents in good faith to make electric vehicles.
The automaker made it clear that it would enforce its intellectual property rights if companies try to directly copy its design.
While the Xpeng P7 has some features similar to Tesla’s, the vehicle is still quite different, but they can hardly deny copying its website.
Furthermore, before the previously mentioned lawsuit and Cao even joined Xpeng, Electrek published a report about how the startup was building a vehicle heavily inspired by Tesla to the point that some were calling it a “Tesla clone.”
But they went a little further than simply using patents, and they even ripped off the Autopilot user interface displayed in the instrument cluster for their electric SUV:
Man, those people have no shame.
I am really curious to see where this will lead, because this not a small company trying to ride on Tesla’s coattails.
Xpeng is now a legit automaker delivering thousands of vehicles and backed by massive multi-national investors like Xiaomi.
Yet they have apparently no issue copying Tesla, even on smaller things like their website design.
Those IP rights are hard to enforce in China, but we will keep you updated on the effort.
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