Tesla has open-sourced its patents on electric vehicle technology, according to a post on the company’s blog by CEO Elon Musk.
Musk explains that one of the company’s biggest goals is to move the entire electric vehicle market forward, which it can’t accomplish if it’s making it harder for others to enter the space:
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 news comes just days after Musk revealed that he wants to share the technology behind Tesla’s Supercharger plug-in stations with other auto manufacturers to create a standard that every electric car owner will know they can rely on when traveling.
It’s an interesting strategy. Helping others catch up on performance and range makes Tesla a less attractive option for those looking to specifically buy into the electric car market.
But if electric cars get better across the board, it might expand the pool of people who’d even consider buying one. With its reputation for industry-leading design, Tesla is in a good position to soak up a significant portion of that growth.
The move is reminiscent of Twitter’s Innovator’s Patent Agreement, announced back in 2012. Twitter promises that it won’t use its trove of patents to sue a competitor without permission from the actual inventor of a patent. It’ll only hold on to patents to make sure it won’t get sued by someone with a giant collection of them.
At a time when it seems like everyone is suing each other to try to get some kind of a leg up on the competition, it’s good to see influential companies deciding to step away from the fray.