Tesla Motors Inc (TSLA) is offering all of its patents for good faith use

Posted Jun 12, 2014

Tesla Motors Inc (NASDAQ:TSLA) runs propriety charging technology for its electric vehicles. Now Tesla Motors CEO Elon Musk has decided to open up the patents for use by other automakers as part of an effort to boost the electric vehicle industry. In a blog post, Musk announced the company would make all of its patented technology available for use by competitors.

“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,” said Musk in the blog post. “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.”

Tesla Motors has several hundred patents that are up for use. He will also make future patents available. Musk vowed not to sue other automakers for using Tesla patents, but expects similar behavior from other automakers.

Tesla Superchargers can add 170 miles of range to the Model S in 30 minutes. If other auto companies built Supercharger capabilities into their electric vehicles, Musk said the company would be “more than happy” to have other manufacturers use their Supercharger network. He would also expect other manufacturers to build Supercharger stations.

Tesla Motors also has patents related to battery pack construction. Tesla’s battery packs use multiple small cells and power control software to prevent thermal overruns.

Currently, less than 1% of total production is for electric car production. Hopefully this will encourage competition to focus more on electric vehicle production.

“Given that annual new vehicle production is approaching 100 million per year and the global fleet is approximately 2 billion cars, it is impossible for Tesla to build electric cars fast enough to address the carbon crisis. By the same token, it means the market is enormous. Our true competition is not the small trickle of non-Tesla electric cars being produced, but rather the enormous flood of gasoline cars pouring out of the world?s factories every day,” added Musk. “We believe that Tesla, other companies making electric cars, and the world would all benefit from a common, rapidly-evolving technology platform.”

[Sources: CNET/Tesla Blog]