Car Maker Tesla Open Its Patents to All
Elon Musk goes open source, says it will help electric-car industry overall
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Jun 12, 2014 6:50 PM CDT
Tesla CEO Elon Musk.   (AP Photo/Jack Plunkett)

(Newser) – Electric car maker Tesla Motors is handing over the keys to its technology in an unusual effort to encourage other automakers to expand beyond gasoline-burning vehicles. Tesla CEO Elon Musk promised today to give away the company's entire patent portfolio to all comers, as long as they promised not to engage courtroom battles over intellectual property. "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," Musk wrote in a blog post on the company's Web site.

Other automakers using Tesla's technology could potentially share the cost of Tesla's charging stations, for example. And more charging stations could entice skeptical buyers to try electric cars. Tesla currently makes one vehicle—the $70,000 Model S sedan—and is developing two others. But Musk said Tesla can't make a dent in the market by itself, and thinks the patents could be a "modest" help to other companies developing electric cars. “Even if other competitors copy Tesla’s design, Tesla still gets to sell them batteries, and that’s pretty awesome," a Stanford patent law expert tells the LA Times. "Tesla's decision isn't entirely altruistic." The shift to open source is intriguing, but "there are many unanswered questions" about how it will fly in reality, writes Brian Solomon at Forbes.

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Showing 3 of 42 comments
FrankFurter
Jun 27, 2014 1:29 AM CDT
I know I am late to this conversation but the Tesla car is a go cart with better batteries.
Marked as Spam?
Jun 16, 2014 4:36 AM CDT
Apple will offer a free download of Yentl on iTunes
JERZJOE
Jun 15, 2014 8:59 AM CDT
what about "TUCKER"? he had a lot of genius for the auto industry more than 70 years ago!! way ahead of his time!! let's give him some props-- (something that is said to publicly thank and give special attention to someone for doing something : credit or recognition) for his ideas for the auto that is used today!! period!! there ya go!!