Friday, June 13, 2014

Tesla Electrifies Open Source Patenting

With a wry nod to Kansas City DJ Jeffrey Ray Roberts, Tesla CEO Elon Musk announced on June 12, 2014, that "All Our Patent Are Belong To You".  He detailed what he meant by this in an iconoclastic blog post on the Tesla corporate websiteHere is an excerpt:
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 will not initiate patent lawsuits against anyone who, in good faith, wants to use our technology...We believe that applying the open source philosophy to our patents will strengthen rather than diminish Tesla’s position in this regard.
By pledging to "open source" the Tesla patent portfolio, Musk may have done more to spur the open source patenting than all previous efforts combined, including the BioBrick Public Agreement.  Will his gesture succeed?  To reverse Marshall McLuhan, Elon Musk's patent message may be the open source medium.