Elon Musk has always been a rebel. Now he’s an open source rebel.
While many in Silicon Valley have railed against patent wars in recent years, and some have lobbied Washington to reform patent law, Tesla’s taking
an unprecedented step of opening all its electric car patents to outside use.
In a blog post on Thusday, Musk said Tesla has removed the patents decorating the wall of the company’s Palo Alto headquarters — a symbolic move
to coincide with this announcement. Tesla’s billionaire cofounder and CEO writes that the company “will not initiate patent lawsuits against
anyone who, in good faith, wants to use our technology.”
Tesla Motors was created to accelerate the advent of sustainable transport. If we clear a path to the creation of compelling electric vehicles,
but then lay intellectual property landmines behind us to inhibit others, we are acting in a manner contrary to that goal. Tesla will not initiate
patent lawsuits against anyone who, in good faith, wants to use our technology.
When I started out with my first company, Zip2, I thought patents were a good thing and worked hard to obtain them. And maybe they were good long ago,
but too often these days they serve merely to stifle progress, entrench the positions of giant corporations and enrich those in the legal profession,
rather than the actual inventors.
We believe that Tesla, other companies making electric cars, and the world would all benefit from a common, rapidly-evolving technology platform.
Technology leadership is not defined by patents, which history has repeatedly shown to be small protection indeed against a determined competitor, but
rather by the ability of a company to attract and motivate the world’s most talented engineers. We believe that applying the open source philosophy
to our patents will strengthen rather than diminish Tesla’s position in this regard.
Full blog post from Tesla Motors homepage: All Our Patent Are Belong to You
To be honest, this news piece took my breath away for a second. I could not agree more with this. The current patent system is rather holding back the
innovation, than accelerating the technological progress. I do not say, there should not be certain protection for inventors, although definitely not
in the current way, where too often patents are used as suppressing the opponents (smaller companies usually), suppressing the knowledge and all in
the name of additional profits…
I have always been an admirer of Tesla Motors as well as Elon Musk and this only strengthens their position in my eyes.Of course, in the end Tesla is
a corporation like any other, having the main intention of creating maximum profit, but the way are doing it – the way they are innovating the
industry, thinking big and in the end creating a win-win for everybody- is remarkable and something I highly respect.