After a two year bid from Elon Musk to name his tequila brand, “Teslaquila,” the Mexican Institute of Industrial Property has sealed the name’s fate: a big, hard NO.
Back in 2018, Musk revealed the name during an April Fool’s Joke he posted on Twitter. A month later, a legal representative for the brand attempted to register the name Teslaquila in Mexico, the only country where tequila is made. The name was nixed by the Tequila Regulatory Council (CRT), the entity responsible for regulating and authorizing all of the processes related to the manufacture, consumption, and trade of tequila. As to the reason why? Well, it’s just too similar to the word tequila.
The CRT prohibits the word “tequila” to be registered as property because the word “tequila” is a designation of origin. That means the rights of using the word “tequila” belongs only to the tequila agribusiness. Martín Muñoz, the head of the certification body at the CRT, said “Teslaquila” may cause confusion or misunderstanding as to the origin of the product, and the Mexican industrial property law denied the trademark.
Though Musk’s team challenged the CRT’s decision, citing how the proposed name was a natural variant of the brand “Tesla” merging with the product suffix “-quila.” The CRT remained unconvinced and Musk abandoned the name shortly after. But not to fear, there is no love lost from the CRT. “This is, without a doubt, a benefit to all the tequila producers because [Musk] 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,” said Muñoz.
Renamed simply, “Tesla Tequila,” the lightning bolt shaped bottle was launched on November 5th with a price point of $250. It sold out the same day.