Open-source patents?

Elon Musk — co-founder and CEO of Tesla Motors — has this to say about Tesla’s proprietary patents:

When I started out with my first company, Zip2, I thought patents were a good thing and worked hard to obtain them. And maybe they were good long ago, but too often these days they serve merely to stifle progress, entrench the positions of giant corporations and enrich those in the legal profession, rather than the actual inventors. After Zip2, when I realized that receiving a patent really just meant that you bought a lottery ticket to a lawsuit, I avoided them whenever possible … We believe that Tesla, other companies making electric cars, and the world would all benefit from a common, rapidly-evolving technology platform. 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.

Read Elon’s full statement “All Our Patent Are Belong to You” here. (Thanks to the amazing and multi-talented Alex Tabarrok over at marginal revolution for the pointer.)

Publicity stunt or paradigm shift?

About F. E. Guerra-Pujol

When I’m not blogging, I am a business law professor at the University of Central Florida.
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3 Responses to Open-source patents?

  1. olivierlehe says:

    Elon Musk is the CEO of SpaceX and Tesla. In these two companies, products manufactured have never been proposed before. For SpaceX (USA), the company is able to sell a rocket launch for satellites for 12000 dollars / kg as cost for Ariane 5 (Europa) is 23000 dollars / kg and for Proton (Russia), 18000 dollars / kg.
    As ILIAD for French Telecommunication, SpaceX is completely redefine the market of space rocket launch. He obliges restructuring Safran (Ariane) into Airbus group in June 2014.
    Elon Musk is also the CEO of Telsa, a company selling only electric cars in USA! Elon Musk is a serial creator, as he was the creator of Paypal sold to Ebay in the 2000′s years.
    If you are interested, I have posted an article about Elon Musk that you can read here:
    http://worldofinnovations.net/2014/06/19/elon-musk-an-exceptional-innovator/

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