Tesla Motors CEO Elon Musk announced today, that in an effort to embrace the open-source movement, the company "will not initiate patent lawsuits against anyone who, in good faith, wants to use our technology."
He went on to explain in a blog post titled "All Our Patent Are Belong to You" (a play on the Internet meme "All your base are belong to us") on the company site that his reasoning behind the decision had to do with the progress of electric car technology. "If we clear a path to the creation of compelling electric vehicles, but then laid intellectual property landmines behind us to inhibit others, we are acting in a manner contrary to that goal."
Musk, who is also the CEO of SpaceX, said initially the concern was that without patents, bigger car companies could ostensibly take the ideas developed by Tesla and use them against the company. But that has not been the case. According to Musk, there are 100 million new automobiles being produced per year, and there are approximately 200 billion cars globally. And of that, electric cars are only making a small dent, accounting for about one percent of rivals' total sales.
"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 stated.
Ultimately, he wrote "we believe that Tesla, other companies making electric cars, and the world would all benefit from a common, rapidly-evolving technology platform."
Tesla will still continue to apply for patents for new technology.