Tesla is opening up the use of their technology.
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.
This decision is huge for opponents of the current patent system. Frequently we hear, even from some of the biggest corporations, that the patent system is broken and it needs to be reformed.1 It is usually hard to believe someone until they, as the cliché goes, put their money where their mouth is. That is exactly what Tesla is doing. They are showing yes they think the patent system doesn’t work and they can still survive without stifling or attacking their competitors.
In fact, Tesla’s problem is lack of competition.
At best, the large automakers are producing electric cars with limited range in limited volume. Some produce no zero emission cars at all.
Remember that Tesla is trying to build more than a car. They are trying to build a ecosystem or a “platform”.
We believe that Tesla, other companies making electric cars, and the world would all benefit from a common, rapidly-evolving technology platform.
Besides, Tesla’s biggest problem isn’t its technology or its competitors. Tesla’s biggest problem is gaining mindshare. Tesla needs other people to bang the electric vehicle drum.