In a gesture that’s as symbolic as it is game-changing for the EV industry, Elon Musk posted on Tesla’s blog this morning that "Tesla will not initiate patent lawsuits against anyone who, in good faith, wants to use our technology."
Contending that Tesla’s biggest competitors are not the few other EV manufacturers but actually every gasoline-powered vehicle manufacturer, Musk concludes that Tesla alone is powerless to combat any impending carbon crisis supported by gasoline vehicles.
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Arguing that if Tesla’s primary goal is to "accelerate the advent of sustainable transport," yet it presents roadblocks in the form of patent disputes, then the company is acting in bad faith against its stated mission. He suggests that an open-source platform would benefit manufacturers and drivers alike by increasing the pace of EV development.
Musk says he realized the true nature of owning a patent when founding Zip2, and likened acquiring a patent to "[buying] a lottery ticket to a lawsuit." He concludes that technology leadership is not supported by owning and protecting patents, but by attracting and motivating talented engineers.
The now-gone wall of patents at Tesla's headquarters (Photo: Steve Jurvetson)
Tesla Motors had proudly preserved proof of their patents as a wall of plaques in its headquarters, but according to the announcement, the wall has been emptied.
The full text of the announcement is located on Tesla’s blog, linked below.
Source: Tesla MotorsView gallery - 2 images