Tesla Releases Patents for the ‘Good of Mankind’

Company says more electric cars are needed to tackle the carbon crisis.

A Tesla motor company car logo sits on a car in a dealership at the Dadeland Mall on June 6, 2013 in Miami, Florida. The electric car maker is trying to make a move by selling their cars, that can cost between $62,400 and $82,400, into malls and stores.
National Journal
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Laura Ryan
June 12, 2014, 12:25 p.m.

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.


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