In a blog entry on his company’s website, Mr Musk opened by saying “all our patent are belong to you”. (A reference to the classic internet meme “All Your Base”. (YouTube link))
Musk said that earlier this week there was a wall covered in patent certificates at Tesla HQ, but now that was no longer the case.
“They have been removed, in the spirit of the open source movement, for the advancement of electric vehicle technology,” Musk said.
“Tesla 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.”
Musk said he had lost faith in patents for the modern world, after once believing they were a good thing when he started out with his first company, called Zip2.
The Tesla boss said patents only serve to “stifle progress, entrench the positions of giant corporations and enrich those in the legal profession, rather than the actual inventors”.
Musk added that Tesla initially obtained patents in fear that a major carmaker would immediately steal the EV-maker’s technology in order to overwhelm them, and quickly run them out of business.
But Musk now believes rival carmakers have shown such little interest in EVs, that Tesla needs to get the ball rolling.
“We believe that Tesla, other companies making electric cars, and the world would all benefit from a common, rapidly-evolving technology platform,” Musk said.
It was initially thought Musk was only interested in sharing Tesla’s supercharging network with other carmakers, although this will undoubtedly be a major motivator for others to borrow Tesla’s technology.
Tesla’s patent-sharing invitation is effective immediately.
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Apparently, lots of confused media inquiries about blog title. Look, we just to make sure they don't set us up the bomb.— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) June 12, 2014