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This just in...

http://www.teslamotors.com/blog/all-our-patent-are-belong-you

Yesterday, there was a wall of Tesla patents in the lobby of our Palo Alto headquarters. That is no longer the case. They have been removed, in the spirit of the open source movement, for the advancement of electric vehicle 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.
 

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"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.

"We believe that Tesla, other companies making electric cars, and the world would all benefit from a common, rapidly-evolving technology platform."


I absolutely love this move by Tesla, and I agree wholeheartedly with the sentiments and perspective expressed.
 

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This is an incredibly smart and forward-thinking move. One only has to look at the vast ecosystem of ideas and derivative technologies that has emerged from the world of open source software, to see what a positive effect opening things up can have. And there have been no winners in the mobile tech patent wars, except patent lawyers.
 

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Yep, it's hard to see this as anything other than excellent news for the advancement of EVs in general.
 

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On the surface this looks great, but it obviously depends on the actual licenses that emerge from it and how confident other companies are in those licenses.
 

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Great publicity if nothing else. Hopefully it'll come to a lot more than just that but let's see....
 

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On the surface this looks great, but it obviously depends on the actual licenses that emerge from it and how confident other companies are in those licenses.
I agree, it's not as black and white as it could be, but still a very bold and encouraging move.
 

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I am no patent lawyer and I can think of at least 1000 things I want to know more about before I get to patent law, however it does seem a very positive and bold move on Tesla part and something that if others followed this direction could lead to the reform of the patent system, something that is long over due.
 

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I am no patent lawyer and I can think of at least 1000 things I want to know more about before I get to patent law, however it does seem a very positive and bold move on Tesla part and something that if others followed this direction could lead to the reform of the patent system, something that is long over due.
Bit what about the lawyers?! Will somebody please, think of the lawyers!!!


:p
 

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I am no patent lawyer and I can think of at least 1000 things I want to know more about before I get to patent law, however it does seem a very positive and bold move on Tesla part and something that if others followed this direction could lead to the reform of the patent system, something that is long over due.
Quite a number of companies have promised not to use their patents to sue other companies unless they are sued first. Google even has some model licenses such as the sticky and non sticky DPL which restrict the royalty-free licensing to companies that also participate:
The DPL is a standardized (i.e., non-negotiated), networked, portfolio-wide, royalty-free, patent cross license without the right to sublicense. Patents in the DPL ecosystem are available royalty-free to companies, institutions or individuals that agree to similarly license their patents.
This is a good step, but it still has limits and you have to read the small print carefully.

For example, Apple and Microsoft are part of a consortium that purchased a large patent portfolio from Nortel when it went bankrupt. As part of the purchase they promised not to sue Google (whom they outbid) over those patents. The consortium then set up a subsidiary (Rockstar) which is suing Google, but that's apparently alright because the parent companies only said they wouldn't sue, not that they wouldn't transfer the patents to another body that would.

Another thing to watch out for is that large companies use their patent portfolios as leverage to get no sue agreements with other companies. So if [insert random large car manufacturer here] ever thought of suing Tesla for patent infringement Tesla would wave their patents back at [random large car manufacturer] and (hopefully) both parties would reach an amicable back scratching agreement. If however in my imaginary scenario [random large car manufacturer] and Tesla had patents in similar areas, while they wouldn't sue each other [random large car manufacturer] might still sue some third party who use Tesla's patents that overlap with their own. Would Tesla come to the aid of the third party?

I think that's why at least thus far these initiatives have seen limited success: if you go swimming in a pool of sharks you need more than just a promise that one shark won't eat you when you go near it; you need a promise that the shark will defend you from the others.

However, great news. I hope some of the other manufacturers start using Tesla's technology.
 

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WIRED - Tesla Just Gave All Its Patents Away to Competitors

Tesla CEO Elon Musk announced today that his company will not “initiate patent lawsuits against anyone who, in good faith, wants to use our technology.” In plain English, that means that if other car companies want to produce electric cars, they can use Tesla’s technology to do it, and, in turn, advance Musk’s sustainability vision.

“The mission of the company is to accelerate the widespread adoption of electric cars,” explained Tesla spokesperson Simon Sproule in an interview before the patent announcement was made. “If Tesla acts as the catalyst for other manufacturers … that will have been achieved.”

http://www.wired.com/2014/06/tesla-just-gave-all-its-patents-away-to-competitors/
 

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The News Wheel - Open Source Tesla Patents Are Now a Thing

Elon Musk for President?

To be honest, most automakers that do offer any type of electric vehicle are mostly doing so to meet growingly rigid CAFE standards, not to further the green car movement. Musk, on the other hand, only offers electric vehicles because he does actually care about sustainable transportation, and he wants other automakers to care too.

http://thenewswheel.com/open-source-tesla-patents/
 

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