Tesla just removed patents from the walls of its Palo Alto headquarters both literally and figuratively. If you want to build something using the technology found in a Tesla patent, the company is totally fine with that.
Today Tesla Founder and all around super-smart guy, Elon Musk, posted to the company’s blog that Tesla would not pursue legal action against anyone that uses Tesla’s patented technology in good faith.
In the post Musk says that the goal of Tesla is to further the development of sustainable transportation. “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,” he writes.
The purpose of patents is to protect the creator of a technology from being ripped off by copy cats. In theory, it’s a great idea. In recent years though, the patent world has become a quagmire of legal fights and trolls hoping to cash in on tiny features. By removing itself from that mess, Tesla is embracing the open source movement.
It’ll be interesting to see how this affects the automotive market.