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Tesla is Trying to Make an End to the Patent Wars

post Tuesday June 17, 2014

Tags: elon musk, patent war, tesla


Today’s technology movement is all about keeping patents. Infringement will almost certainly lead to litigation. However, Tesla is heading for a different direction. CEO Elon Musk is opening Tesla’s patent portfolio for the rest of the world. He hopes that this move will help to expand the market for electronic cars and reduce the amount of litigation across the tech world.

On Thursday, Musk announced that Tesla will not initiate litigation against anyone who wants to use their technology. Every patent will be available, even its high-speed battery-charging technology. It can be regarded as an open source category for patents. The move of Tesla follows a publication of Google, which stated that it will not take legal action against open source projects, such as Hadoop.

The reason behind Tesla’s shocking move is that Elon Musk wants to focus less on owning patents and boost the innovation and the constant  creation of new technologies of companies, rather than constantly dropping lawsuits against other companies doing the same thing. He calls the battle between Samsung and Apple as an example; nobody is really benefiting from it.

Elon Musk finds it far more important to increase the number of electric cars in the market, regardless which company makes them. At the moment, the electric cars only account for less than one percent of all auto sales. Tesla thinks that the innovation in the electric cars market will increase, because companies do not have to worry about infringing patents and can now  primarily focus on creating innovative concepts. The CEO of Tesla also hopes that top notch engineers will be attracted to work for Tesla after revealing their plans.

Even though the plans of Tesla are not yet legally binding, Musk wants to make simple agreements with companies in order to make terms understandable and clearer for everyone. Tesla does not want to be the next Microsoft. The tech giant was not very protective about their patents and only filed four patent suits in 30 years. However, since 2010 Microsoft has sued several companies for infringement and Tesla is cautious about going in that same direction.

The interference of a big company like Tesla in the talks about new legislation about patents is very important. Furthermore, it is very encouraging that small and big companies want to make an end to the patent wars instead of filing more lawsuits against each other.

Source: wired


Image courtesy of David Castillo  /

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