Imitation might be the sincerest form of flattery but in the world of big business, imitation might land you a lawsuit.

But will Tesla Inc. sue The Ford Motor Company for trotting out a new Lincoln-branded charging station that looks almost exactly like a Tesla Supercharger except for a few, minor details? Time will tell.

For now, the controversial Ford PHEV (plug-in hybrid electric vehicle) charging station spotted by a redittor carries the name Lincoln, which is Ford's luxury vehicle division.

Up until the 1990s, Lincoln sedans were the exclusive state cars of U.S. presidents. Those halcyon days are over (Lincolns have been replaced by Cadillacs at the White House) so Lincoln has been selected by Ford as part of its push into PHEVs.

Pundits assert the new Lincoln charging station is a clear rip-off of Tesla’s Supercharger design and they might have a point.

For instance, the charging stall has the same shape as the Tesla Supercharger. The Lincoln connector is installed in a hollowed-out interior, same as with the Tesla design. The only noticeable external difference is the blue design accent of the Lincoln supercharger (blue is Ford's corporate color) instead of red (Tesla's corporate color).

Lincoln's charging station seems to combine Tesla's GEN 1 and GEN 2 Supercharger designs into one unit.

Lincoln’s supercharger has a small cable and connector. Pundits said these features reveal this station is only a level 2 charging station meant for its Ford's upcoming PHEVs. Level 2 charging refers to the voltage an EV charger uses. Level 2 chargers come in a variety of amperages ranging from 16 amps (3.3 kW) to 40 amps.

Earlier this year, Lincoln confirmed it's developing an EV based on Ford’s Mustang-inspired EV. It also announced plug-in hybrid versions of its Aviator Midsize Luxury SUV and Corsair 5-passenger, compact luxury crossover.

In preparation for its push into EVs, Lincoln started developing its own charging station. But did they have to copy Tesla?

One expert rightly points out Tesla runs the only nationwide EV charging network in the United States. It wouldn’t hurt for the U.S. to have another national network, such as the one Ford plans to build. After all, these networks serve the same purpose: advancing the replacement of petrol cars by EVs and helping save the planet in the process.

Tesla Superchargers A bank of Tesla Superchargers Photo: Tesla, Inc.