Elon Musk, CEO of Tesla Motors, has released a statement on the company’s blog saying he has removed all Tesla patents to catalyse the advancement of electric vehicle (EV) technology.
This news comes as no surprise as Mr Musk had previously hinted at it in a recent interview with the BBC. However, that does not undermine the significance of this action and how it will serve to foster further growth in the EV market.
In his post, Mr Musk stated: “Tesla Motors was created to accelerate the advent of sustainable transport. 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. Tesla will not initiate patent lawsuits against anyone who, in good faith, wants to use our technology.”
Tesla fought for patents initially with the view that if they did not, larger manufacturers would copy their technology and use their might to overpower them. Yet, unfortunately the patents have only acted to stifle progress, Musk acknowledges.
Musk hopes that this open source philosophy will allow other manufacturers to join forces with Tesla in addressing the carbon crisis by promoting electric cars. Moreover, he seems convinced that this is not only good for the world and the market but is also the right business move for Tesla Motors.
Mr Musk commented: “Technology leadership is not defined by patents, which history has repeatedly shown to be small protection indeed against a determined competitor, but rather by the ability of a company to attract and motivate the world’s most talented engineers. We believe that applying the open source philosophy to our patents will strengthen rather than diminish Tesla’s position in this regard.”
A small share rise after the announcement suggests he is right. Tesla have seen an impressive 36% increase in shares this year.
With major manufacturers already expanding their electric ranges at a decent rate this development is likely to intensify progression in the EV market.