The battle of the Boring Companies: Elon Musk’s Trademark Opposition for Snack Business

Over the past few years, Elon Musk has become a household name, most famous for his CEO and Chief Engineer position for the NASA collaborated, SpaceX programme, as well as his founding of the Tesla Car Brand. Musk has recently engaged in a new venture into the industry of infrastructure after founding The Boring Company in December of 2016, which is only set to increase his already billionaire status after previously being titled as the richest person in the world in September of this year.

Mr Musk’s’ Infrastructure company ‘The Boring Company’ is suitably named as a play on words, as one of the first tasks they have set out to complete includes tunnel construction. Its most recent project has been designed to facilitate intra-city ‘loop’ transit systems to improve speed and safety for transport between cities in the United States. They have since completed two tunnels within Las Vegas for ‘loop travel’, and an additional tunnel in Los Angeles specifically made for the testing of hyperloop-based transportation on longer inter-city routes. Elon Musk owns roughly 90% equity of The Boring Company, with 6% held by SpaceX in return for the use of its resources during the company’s initial start-up. 

Founded in December of 2016, Musk created The Boring Company as a subsidiary of SpaceX, but it has since become a fully independent company as of 2018. 

Despite his success, the 50 year old businessman has recently faced troubles with his infrastructure company against a New York based snack company, whose name also includes the word ‘Boring’. 

The Boring Snack Company does not yet have any immediate services or products being offered on their website, however, Musk continued to launch a trademark opposition application against them just days after the SpaceX inspiration4 mission returned to Earth. 

In the filed opposition notice, The Boring Company claims that registration of the ‘The Boring Snack Company’ could cause confusion among their customers. The documents also claim that the Brooklyn snack company has yet to use the trademark in commercial use, despite their claim to have used the trademark two days before the application’s filing. 

Regardless of the differing goods and services offered by both companies the opposition filing continued to claim that due to the similar naming, the Boring Snack Company’s products could be perceived as promotional or novelty items that are promoted on behalf of Musk’s infrastructure company.

The receiving party, The Boring Snack Company, has until October 31st of this year to file an answer in response to The Boring Company, with a failure to do so resulting in a win for Musk’s company. If a response is filed, this dispute could last until April of 2023. With the funds available if necessary, Musk has the ability to continue this dispute, but the question lies whether the Boring Snack Company has the capita to fight their side against the richest man in the world.

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