Tesla Motors CEO Elon Musk announced on Thursday that his electric vehicle company has released all of its patents to any company that wishes to further electric vehicle technology.
Musk made the announcement on the Tesla Motors blog in a post titled “All Our Patent Are Belong To You,” arguing that patents are more often used to “stifle progress, entrench the positions of giant corporations and enrich those in the legal profession, rather than the actual inventors.”
He cited the open source movement as his inspiration, which encourages free licensing and access to products so developers can improve upon their design.
“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," Musk said in the blog post. "Tesla will not initiate patent lawsuits against anyone who, in good faith, wants to use our technology."
Musk said his company sought patents because of concerns that more-established auto companies would out-produce Tesla with their own similar technology, but he says the lack of investment in electric car technology proved him wrong.
Along with the patents used in Tesla Motors’ vehicles, the patents used in Tesla’s Supercharger charging stations will be opened to other companies. He said he’s discussed collaboration with BMW.
Musk hinted at opening Tesla’s patents earlier this month at Tesla’s 2014 Shareholder Meeting and several times since then.
Musk had a big year with another company of his, SpaceX, as well. SpaceX unveiled its much-anticipated Dragon V2, challenging United Launch Alliance’s (ULA) closed contract agreement with the Air Force for defense satellite launches.