Tesla is releasing its patents in the name of the climate-change crisis.
Tesla founder and CEO Elon Musk said in a blog post Thursday that his company will not sue anyone who uses Tesla technology because more electric cars are needed to compete with gasoline cars.
"We believe that Tesla, other companies making electric cars, and the world would all benefit from a common, rapidly evolving technology platform," Musk wrote. "We believe that applying the open source philosophy to our patents will strengthen rather than diminish Tesla's position in this regard."
According to the post, almost 100 million cars are produced annually, an overwhelming majority of which are fueled by gasoline. Musk says that Tesla's competition is not other electric-car companies but the "enormous flood" of gasoline cars.
"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," Musk wrote.
The Palo Alto, Calif.-based electric car company initially patented its technology out of fear that the major automobile companies would steal it, according to the blog post, but "we couldn't have been more wrong."
He also said that the patent system in general is often used to stifle innovation and pad the pocketbooks of major corporations and lawyers.