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All Tesla's patents are belong to you

Elon Musk says the company would not initiate legal proceedings against any company found to be using Tesla technology "in good faith."
By Ananth Baliga   |   June 12, 2014 at 1:53 PM  |  Updated June 12, 2014 at 1:55 PM   |   Comments

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PALO ALTO, Calif., June 12 (UPI) -- Tesla CEO Elon Musk has once again surprised everyone by making public all patents held by the car manufacturer in support of the "advancement of electric vehicle technology."

After hinting at it Wednesday night, Musk wrote a Thursday blog post, titled "All our patents are belong to you." In it, he wrote the carmaker would not sue other companies for using Tesla's patented technology to make sustainable electric cars.

"Tesla will not initiate patent lawsuits against anyone who, in good faith, wants to use our technology," he wrote.

Musk hopes to encourage other carmakers to make more electric cars like Tesla's Model S. He adds that while starting his first company, Zip2, he believed patents were important, but now he feels that they just "stifle progress."

"At Tesla, however, we felt compelled to create patents out of concern that the big car companies would copy our technology and then use their massive manufacturing, sales and marketing power to overwhelm Tesla. We couldn't have been more wrong. The unfortunate reality is the opposite: electric car programs (or programs for any vehicle that doesn't burn hydrocarbons) at the major manufacturers are small to non-existent, constituting an average of far less than 1% of their total vehicle sales."

"At best, the large automakers are producing electric cars with limited range in limited volume. Some produce no zero emission cars at all," he added.

Musk went on to say that "it is impossible for Tesla to build electric cars fast enough to address the carbon crisis."

"By the same token, it means the market is enormous. Our true competition is not the small trickle of non-Tesla electric cars being produced, but rather the enormous flood of gasoline cars pouring out of the world's factories every day."

"We believe that Tesla, other companies making electric cars, and the world would all benefit from a common, rapidly-evolving technology platform," said Musk.

Musk had announced at Tesla's June 3 meeting that he was surprised how few electric car makers were there in the market and that he was "planning on doing something fairly significant on that front, which would be kind of controversial with respect to Tesla's patents."

Follow @antbaliga and @UPI on Twitter.
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