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How Elon Musk Bought The Tesla.com Domain Name

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How Elon Musk Bought The Tesla.com Domain Name

It took longer for Tesla Inc. (NASDAQ: TSLA) to get the right to use the website domain name Tesla.com than it took to design, build and sell its first car.

What Happened With Tesla: Tesla CEO Elon Musk told the story again earlier this year on the Third Row Tesla Podcast of how it took about a decade to finally get Silicon Valley engineer Stuart Grossman to sell the rights to Tesla.com.

The company had been using TeslaMotors.com, but Musk has always seen it as more than a car company and wanted the basic domain name.

"That took us 10 years to buy that Tesla.com domain," Musk said on the podcast. "That cost us like, $10 million."

Musk said in 2018 on Twitter that it actually cost $11 million, and took an "amazing amount of effort," to get the domain name off Grossman.

Grossman said in an interview three years ago, after news was published about Tesla finally buying the domain name, that he hadn't been using the domain for anything, and it was more trouble than it was worth to keep.

"It was becoming a burden," Grossman said in the 2016 interview. "Despite being insulated by my registrar's privacy scheme, people still tracked me down."

Tesla also tracked him down, and it's had the domain Tesla.com since.

More Tesla Name Trivia: Musk and company also had to buy the trademark for the name Tesla. They bought it from Brad Siewert in 2004 for $75,000. Had they not been able to get it, they'd planned to use an alternative name for the company, Faraday.

This article was originally published on Jan. 27, 2020.

Photo Courtesy: Steve Jurvetson on Flickr.

 

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