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Elon Musk tried to name his liquor brand ‘Teslaquila’ but Mexico said no

Musk had initially tweeted the name as a joke during an April Fool's prank in 2018, but appeared to take the idea much more seriously by October that year

Want to put a punny name to your own brand of tequila? Better make sure it doesn’t alter the word ‘tequila’, Mexico’s government warned after it successfully blocked Tesla CEO Elon Musk’s attempt to name his own novelty liquor ‘Teslaquila’.

The Silicon Valley entrepreneur had piloted the name as part of an April Fool’s prank in 2018, where he jokingly tweeted that Tesla had gone bankrupt.

“Elon was found passed out against a Tesla 3 model, surrounded by ‘Teslaquila’ bottles, the tracks of dried tears still visible on his cheeks,” he tweeted, alongside a photo of himself clutching a cardboard piece with the word ‘Bankrupt!’ sketched on it.

The name appeared to stick a few months later, after he posted another tweet in October: “Teslaquila coming soon.”

Mexico’s Tequila Regulatory Council took issue with Musk’s choice of name for his liquor, namely because it confuse the liquor’s origin, they argued. In order to call your drink tequila, you have to produce it in Mexico and follow certain rules to avoid diluting the general brand.

“[The] name ‘Teslaquila’ evokes the word Tequila … (and) Tequila is a protected word,” the council argued in November 2018.

In February 2019 the council filed an objection, demanding that if Tesla wants to make a tequila, the company would have to use the word tequila without changing the word so the general brand stays intact.

A month later, the Mexican Institute of Industrial Property ruled Teslaquila could not be registered.

Musk’s lawyers argued against the ruling in July, claiming that the name was just the Tesla name with ‘quila’ added to it, but failed to convince the regulator. By January 2020, the final ruling was handed down, effectively blocking Musk’s run at the catchy title, The Verge reports.

Ruling aside, there doesn’t seem to be any animosity between the two. Council head, Martín Muñoz in fact, praised Musk’s willingness to comply with rules of the industry in an interview with The Verge. “Today the tequila industry has someone as important as Elon Musk representing it. 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,” he said.

“We welcome Elon Musk and the Tesla tequila brand.”

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