Elon Musk: ‘All Our Patent Are Belong To You’

Elon Musk: ‘All Our Patent Are Belong To You’

Jun 12

tesla-musk

Tesla founder and CEO Elon Musk

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ELON MUSK TO OTHER CARMAKERS: STEAL OUR TECHNOLOGY
By Jason Abbruzzese
Mashable
June 12, 2014

Original Link

Want to start your own electric car company? You now have the technology to do so.

Tesla has made the unorthodox move of pledging not to pursue litigation against any company that uses its technology “in good faith.”

In a blog post cheekily titled “All Our Patent Are Belong To You,” Tesla founder and CEO Elon Musk wrote that the company wants to encourage the proliferation of electric cars by allowing other companies to build off its patented technology. The headline is a reference to “All your base are belong to us.”

“Tesla will not initiate patent lawsuits against anyone who, in good faith, wants to use our technology,” Musk wrote.

While Musk has said he hopes to shift the world away from combustion engines, he also admitted that Tesla will not be able to do it alone.

“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 wrote.

There is also a business case for Tesla’s move. Musk recently said that Tesla was considering allowing other companies to use its charging stations.

Patent technology is a valuable asset for any company that is seeking to disrupt a particular industry. Litigation related to patents often end up costing companies millions of dollars and are seen by some as stifling innovation. Some companies have emerged that almost entirely depend on patent lawsuit settlements for income.

Musk wrote that a patent is “a lottery ticket to a lawsuit,” and that to achieve the company’s ultimate goals, it needed to allow others to build on its technology.

“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,” he wrote.

Tesla is not the first technology that Musk has decided to make publicly available. The Hyperloop high speed transportation system conceived by Musk is an open source project that has been pursued by some companies including Hyperloop Transportation Technologies.

Investors had little if any reaction to the move. Shares in Tesla remained up 0.3% on the day, having more than doubled in the past 12 months of trading.

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ALL OUR PATENT ARE BELONG TO YOU
By Elon Musk, CEO
Tesla Motors
June 12, 2014

Original Link

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 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.

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. After Zip2, when I realized that receiving a patent really just meant that you bought a lottery ticket to a lawsuit, I avoided them whenever possible.

At Tesla, however, we felt compelled to create patents out of concern that the big car companies would copy our technology and then use their massive manufacturing, sales and marketing power to overwhelm Tesla. 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.

At best, the large automakers are producing electric cars with limited range in limited volume. Some produce no zero emission cars at all.

Given that annual new vehicle production is approaching 100 million per year and the global fleet is approximately 2 billion cars, it is impossible for Tesla to build electric cars fast enough to address the carbon crisis. By the same token, it means the market is enormous. 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.

We believe that Tesla, other companies making electric cars, and the world would all benefit from a common, rapidly-evolving technology platform.

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.

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https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=is0WFSDmFgw

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RELATED LINKS:

Wikipedia on Elon Musk
Tesla Motors
Consumer Reports Ranks Tesla Model S Top Car of 2014
• SpaceX
• Wikipedia on Hyperloop Transportation Technologies
• Musk Foundation Website

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