Tesla CEO Elon Musk definitely absorbed the lesson of sharing when he was a child. In the company’s blog yesterday, he recently announced that Tesla Motors Inc. will be relinquishing all of it’s EV patents to any automaker who is interested in using it’s technology “in good faith”. Musk clearly stated that his company will not pursue patent lawsuits for the sake of a greener world.
“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,” said Musk.
The CEO is taking a huge risk in doing so. He is essentially giving his competition the leg up Tesla worked so hard to secure with the patents in the first place. Musk even highlighted that concern by saying the patents were not just created in order to get the green light to sue, but rather to hinder larger and more powerful automakers from stomping all over Tesla during their coming-out stage. Musk then said that prohibiting others from using Tesla technology is actually a mistake and that it would not have made an impact in competition at all due to EV vehicles making up less than 1% of total vehicle sales.
With roughly 2 billion cars in circulation globally and 100 million being produced each year, Tesla cannot produce enough EVs on its own to aid with our global emissions issue. Musk further addresses the fear of competition with his concluding statement:
“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.”
You can read more about his plan here: http://www.teslamotors.com/blog/all-our-patent-are-belong-you
Musk is really beginning to grow on us. Removing all restrictions to others of Tesla’s technology in an effort to reduce global carbon emissions and reliance on fossil fuels is nothing short of praiseworthy. It also shows the public that Tesla was not created simply as a trend-setting way to make money, but rather to strive for a much larger picture that benefits us all. Hats off to you Mr. Musk.