Sunday26 March 2023

Tesla Says "All Our Patents Are Belong to You"

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To say that I am speechless is an understatement. Although I know the move by Tesla Motors today is also a marketing move it still stands on its own as one of the coolest things I have seen in a while. Oh that’s right I had probably better tell you what I am talking about. Although the head line makes much of this clear today Tesla announced that it will not seek patent litigation against any company that wants to use their technology in good faith.

It seems that they have come to the same conclusions that many outside observers have: the Patent System is broken and does nothing but hinder the advancement of technology and make attorneys very rich. Although Tesla will still hold the rights to the patent in case anyone tries something shady they are going to allow others to use their technology to move the electronic vehicle industry forward rather than keep them behind a wall of patents.

In the PR statement on their site, founder Elon Musk said: “When I started out with my first company, Zip2, I thought patents were a good thing and worked hard to obtain them. And maybe they were good long ago, but too often these days they serve merely to stifle progress, entrench the positions of giant corporations and enrich those in the legal profession, rather than the actual inventors. After Zip2, when I realized that receiving a patent really just meant that you bought a lottery ticket to a lawsuit, I avoided them whenever possible.”

We could not have said it better. These days patents do not protect inventors, they shore up armories for future litigation. Companies like Apple, Microsoft, Google, Samsung, and others are amassing patents to make sure they maintain a competitive advantage instead of actually inventing something that gives them that. Perhaps Elon Musk and Tesla Motors will be an example to others and the patent walls will come down. I know it is not likely, but hey we can dream can’t we?

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Last modified on Thursday, 12 June 2014 14:19

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