Not long ago, Elon Musk reminded us that Tesla patents are public as way of targeting the technology’s competition: “the enormous flow of gasoline cars that are produced every day in factories around the world“.
A booster shot
On January 31st 2019 the boss of Tesla and SpaceX published a tweet that sparked attention. Musk explained that all of Tesla’s patents are in the public domain, as a way of fighting against global warming. This announcement is not new, and as proof, Elon Musk’s twitter post refers to a statement published by Tesla in June 2014. In this publication, the businessman indicates that Tesla “will not initiate any legal proceedings against whoever wants to use our technology in good faith. ”
Elon Musk’s intervention doesn’t seem to big up the question of patents but instead denounces – once again – the current automotive industry. According to Musk, the real challenge is the millions of gasoline cars coming out of factories around the world every day.
In the statement, the Tesla boss explained that they had at the time registered patents of the company’s vehicles as they were afraid that other manufacturers would copy their technology and then use their marketing power and mass production to cash in on this technology. According to Musk this fear was in the end unfounded as electric cars are almost non-existent at other car manufactures. In fact electric cars make up less than 1% of vehicles produced – even though some manufacturers produce no clean energy cars.
Open source philosophy
About five years ago Elon Musk came up with an initiative that still stands out in the world of technology today. Most of the time when an idea emerges, it is immediately patented with the hope of profiting from it in the near future.
Elon Musk stated at the time of Tesla’s creation, that the company was created to “accelerate the growth of sustainable transportation” and that patents only “curb progress“ and “allow giant companies to camp on their positions “. Musk wasn’t worried about admitting that at the time his first company (Zip2) was created, he believed in patents and had “worked hard to obtain them”.
This innovative philosophy is also reflected in Hyperloop, a research project launched in 2013 that Elon Musk is also behind. He encouraged a open source and collaborative approach. In fact, he wanted there to be no patents, so that many technological and industrial players could currently work on what could be one of the most important modes of public transport of the future.