Tesla Motors Inc (TSLA) Opens Patents to Competitors

Tesla Motors Inc (NASDAQ:TSLA) decided to open its patents to its competitors in the auto industry “in the spirit of open source movement” to advance the electric vehicle technology.

In a blog post, Its chief product architect and CEO Elon Musk explained that Tesla Motors Inc (NASDAQ:TSLA) was established to accelerate the arrival of sustainable transportation. According to him, the company is acting contrary to its goal if it will put intellectual property landmines to inhibit others after it cleared a path to the creation of compelling electric vehicles.

Musk said Tesla Motors Inc (NASDAQ:TSLA) will not file a patent lawsuit against anyone who wants to use its technology in good faith.

“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,” said Musk

In addition, Musk said he realized that receiving a patent just meant he bought a lottery ticket to a lawsuit after Zip2, and tried to avoid patents whenever possible.

Musk emphasized that the management of Tesla Motors Inc (NASDAQ:TSLA) felt compelled to create patents due to concern that big automakers will copy its technology and use their massive manufacturing, sales, and marketing power to overwhelm the electric car manufacturer.

He realized that their notion about the big automakers is wrong, and noted that they are manufacturing electric cars with limited range in limited volume. Some are not even producing zero emission cars.

“We couldn’t have been more wrong. The unfortunate reality is the opposite: electric car programs (or programs for any vehicle that doesn’t burn hydrocarbons) at the major manufacturers are small to non-existent, constituting an average of far less than 1% of their total vehicle sales,” said Musk.

Musk admitted that Tesla Motors Inc (NASDAQ:TSLA) does not have the ability to produces electric cars as fast as possible to address carbon crisis. According to him, “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.”

According to him, applying the open source philosophy to the patents of Tesla Motors Inc (NASDAQ:TSLA) will strengthen its leadership in technology and ability to attract and motivate the most talented engineers around the world.

Musk said pointed out, “Technology leadership is not defined by patents” instead “by the ability of a company to attract and motivate the world’s most talented engineers.”