In a blog post entitled “All Our Patents Are Belong To You”, Elon Musk has once again done something revolutionary; opened Tesla’s patents for use by any other automaker. This guy is the real deal.
When’s the last time a billionaire CEO quoted an Internet meme in a blog post decrying the nature of patents and actively encouraging competitors to copy their own success? Elon Musk seems determined to change the face of the auto industry. Like, now.
The post on the Tesla Motors blog goes on about how patents are holding the industry back, and contrary to early fears that other companies would copy Tesla’s technology, many automakers are resistant to EVs. But, if Tesla opens up its patented battery and Supercharger patents, among other things, then it suddenly other automakers have access to long-range, fast-charging EV technology. Musk puts it thusly;
“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. Tesla will not initiate patent lawsuits against anyone who, in good faith, wants to use our technology.”
So from the sounds of it, Tesla will keep its patents, but let anybody use them in the spirit of the open-source movement. The announcement is light on specifics, and it sounds like Tesla could go back on this at some point. But right here, right now, this is something revolutionary to the auto industry that we haven’t seen since Volvo opened the three-point safety belt patent to the world.
Elon Musk has taken on the auto industry, the car dealership lobby, and now he’s tossing his patents to his competitors. What’s next for the real life Tony Stark?