Today Tesla Motors CEO Elon Musk announced in a blog post titled “All Our Patent Are (sic) Belong to You” that the company is opening its patented technology for use by others. Musk said:
“We believe that Tesla, other companies making electric cars, and the world would all benefit from a common, rapidly-evolving technology platform.”
This is a huge turn around from Musk’s previous views on patents dating back to his first company – one that puts technology innovation first ahead of personal or corporate gain. He went on to say:
“Technology leadership is not defined by patents, which history has repeatedly shown to be small protection indeed against a determined competitor, but rather by the ability of a company to attract and motivate the world’s most talented engineers. We believe that applying the open source philosophy to our patents will strengthen rather than diminish Tesla’s position in this regard.”
A bold move and statement but likely spot on as the open source movement has enabled a number of software companies to take off.