Tesla is suing an Australian EV battery company named Cap-XX in a Texas federal court. Tesla is claiming that Cap-XX’s supercapacitors infringe on two US patents owned by Maxwell Technologies, a subsidiary of Tesla.
Both Cap-XX and Maxwell Technologies produce supercapacitors used for storing energy in EV batteries. Tesla’s lawsuit specifically focuses on the electrodes used in Cap-XX’s supercapacitors, which Tesla argues are the primary source of the device’s power capabilities. The lawsuit seeks unspecified damages from Cap-XX.
This legal action may appear to contradict a previous statement made by Tesla’s CEO, Elon Musk, in 2014. Musk had pledged that Tesla would not initiate patent lawsuits against those who genuinely sought to use the company’s technology. However, upon closer examination, it seems that this lawsuit is merely a small-scale patent dispute rather than a violation of Musk’s earlier promise.
Tesla acquired Maxwell Technologies in 2019. In the same year, Cap-XX filed a lawsuit against Maxwell Technologies for patent infringement.
Now, Tesla is taking similar action against Cap-XX to protect its intellectual property rights. Tesla’s lawsuit argues that Maxwell Technologies’s history of innovation has resulted in its own patents, which are now owned by Tesla.
Cap-XX claims to produce the world’s thinnest high-power supercapacitors. It’s recognized as a leading manufacturer of ultra-thin prismatic, cylindrical, and lithium-ion supercapacitors. In 2022, the Australian company announced that its DMT 220 supercapacitor would be supplied to automotive parts maker Continental for one of its key auto programs from 2024 to 2030.
Tesla and Cap-XX spokespeople did not reply for requests for comment on the court case.