It was a great day for the open source movement when Tesla gave a press release stating that it would no longer protect its patents. This means that the California-based electric car maker would no longer take any legal action against any company that will use technology previously patented by Tesla.
“Yesterday, there was a wall of Tesla patents in the lobby of our Palo Alto headquarters. That is no longer the case. They have been removed, in the spirit of the open source movement, for the advancement of electric vehicle technology”, Tesla CEO Elon Musk writes in a post titled, “All Our Patent Are Belong to You” on the company’s blog.
Until now, the patents were in the public domain, but as of June 2014 they are not only publically accessible but also publically usable.
This open source movement is the perfect example for the push happening in Silicon Valley for a patent reform, based on the idea that technology evolves too quickly for the old and tired U.S. Patent system and the obvious fact that sharing of intellectual property leads to greater and quicker innovation.
“We believe that Tesla, other companies making electric cars, and the world would all benefit from a common, rapidly evolving technology platform”, writes Musk.
“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”.
Musk believes that by making available to other electric car makers Tesla’s technological success, will propel the young electric car industry and create a more vigorous market for electric cars.
“Our true competition is not the small trickle of non-Tesla electric cars being produced, but rather the enormous flood of gasoline cars pouring out of the world’s factories every day”, he writes.
With more companies taking steps on the market, being interested in building out a new network for electric cars, could mean that shared cost projects could come up, making developments more affordable and more expansive. A working car environment also means more charging docks, infrastructure developments, and this means removing a major obstacle in the maturation of the industry. And, above all, a greater market for its electric vehicles means that California-based company stands to benefit from an increased demand for the batteries it will soon produce at its Gigafactory.