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Tesla Motors Releases Patents as Open Source

tesla open source

Earlier this month, Tesla Motors—a darling of many Wall Street investors over the past year or so—announced that it would be releasing all of its electric car patents to the public.

According to CEO Elon Musk, Tesla originally was worried that some of the country’s larger manufacturers would copy the Palo Alto, California-based company’s technology and then put it out of business thanks to the massive manufacturing infrastructure those industry juggernauts already have in place. But that has not been the case, according to Musk. And since Tesla’s goal is to combat climate change, it’s counterintuitive to safeguard its technology.

“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 the goal,” Musk wrote on Tesla’s blog. “Tesla will not initiate patent lawsuits against any who, in good faith, wants to use our technology.”

To date, the manufacturer of premium electric cars has had more than 2,400 patents awarded to it, giving it a stranglehold on a small market. Why would a company want to potentially loosen its grip on such a market?

For starters, Musk has already claimed that the electric car market hasn’t developed as fast as he had envisioned. By offering up Tesla’s technology as open source, Musk might very well be hoping to attract more investors into the green car sector. What’s more, should startups come along and leverage Tesla’s technology, the company can claim that its technology is the standard in electric cars possibly discouraging someone else from developing solutions that rival or exceed Tesla’s.

In any case, the move is likely to spur innovation, as potential electric car manufacturers no longer have to spend time developing technology of their own but can instead use Tesla’s.

Read the original blog entry...

More Stories By Lacey Thoms

Lacey Thoms is a marketing specialist and blogger at Protecode, a provider of open source license management solutions. During her time at Protecode, Lacey has written many articles on open source software management. She has a background in marketing communications, digital advertising, and web design and development. Lacey has a Bachelor’s Degree in Mass Communications from Carleton University.

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