As part of efforts to combat climate change, Elon Mask has released all patents for technology related to the production of Tesla electric cars. In his blog, he promised that the company will not initiate litigation against anyone who in good faith wants to use their technology.
This is an unusual and certainly unexpected move, because it is an industry in which every, even the smallest innovation is carefully guarded, in order to provide maximum financial value. Interestingly, the news was announced on the same day when US prosecutors accused a Chinese citizen of stealing information related to the project of Apple’s autonomous vehicle.
Mask said that Tesla Motors was created to accelerate the arrival of sustainable transport. He said he was skeptical of patent rights that in most cases only prevented progress and helped large corporations to enrich themselves, while the real inventors stayed sharply and often lacked sufficient financial support. He also said he felt compelled to submit Tesla patents earlier in order to prevent large companies from copying his technology and using their huge marketing and sales departments to take over the market.
Now, in a situation where the market has matured and when (record) annual production of Tesla electric cars can not satisfy the market, Mask believes that other companies that produce electric cars can use their patents as the whole world will benefit from this advancement in technology.
He is confident that the application of open source philosophy to patents will have a beneficial effect on his company, will strengthen, not endanger Tesla’s position, and that this will be another way to attract talented engineers to this company.