Electric automaker Tesla Motors Inc announced on Thursday it was giving up its patents to “the open source movement,” to help spur electric vehicle technology.
The unusual move comes with Tesla enjoying huge success, but against a backdrop of multiplying legal squabbles among technology firms over patents.
“All our patents belong to you,” Tesla chief executive Elon Musk said in a blog post.
“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,” he added.
Musk, an entrepreneur who made a fortune with the PayPal online payment service and also heads the space travel firm Space X, said he does not want patents to halt growth of an important environmental technology.
“We believe that Tesla, other companies making electric cars and the world would all benefit from a common, rapidly evolving technology platform,” he wrote.
He said when Tesla was launched, “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.”
However, he said this turned out not to be the case.
“We couldn’t have been more wrong,” he said. “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 nonexistent, constituting an average of far less than 1 percent of their total vehicle sales.”
Musk added that Tesla “will not initiate patent lawsuits against anyone who, in good faith, wants to use our technology.”
Brian Love, a Santa Clara University law professor, said he has seen a “very positive reaction” to Tesla’s decision.
However, Love said it is not clear if Tesla is in fact ceding all its rights.
“Rather, it seems to be simply promising not to proactively sue those who enter the electric car market and use similar technology,” he said.
Robert Stoll, a former US patent commissioner who practices law in Washington, said that the automaker “must have a good business reason for wanting to freely share its electric car patents with others.”
He added that the move is not unprecedented and that the US Patent Office has a mechanism to allow companies to cede their patent rights.
Tesla earlier this year unveiled plans for a so-called “Gigafactory” for advanced electric car batteries as part of a plan to move from niche manufacturer to mass market automaker.
The company says it hopes to bring the cost of production down and produce 500,000 cars a year.
From the customer’s perspective, car rental is a straightforward business. The only uncertainty is whether the hire company will charge you for the scratch they discover when you hand back the vehicle. Hertz Global Holdings Inc’s bankruptcy protection filing on Friday last week was a reminder that today even the simplest business models are underpinned by a lot more financial complexity than meets the eye. The proximate cause of Hertz’s demise was of course the sudden collapse in bookings caused by COVID-19 travel restrictions. The company’s monthly revenue last month fell 73 percent year-on-year, a shortfall that even the most resilient
Uber Technologies Inc, Lyft Inc and Airbnb Inc have slashed thousands of jobs. Salesforce.com Inc and Visa Inc are letting employees work remotely for months; Twitter Inc and Square Inc are allowing them to do so for good. For the companies’ hometown of San Francisco, the moves are early signs of a dire blow. In a city with a long history of booms, busts and natural calamities, the COVID-19 pandemic has suddenly upended nearly a decade of prosperity. While municipalities across the US are grappling with economic fallout from the virus, San Francisco stands to take a deeper hit given its high
BULK PURCHASE: The French chain and Hong Kong-based Dairy Farm International reached a deal covering 224 stores, which is expected to be finalized by year’s end Carrefour SA yesterday announced it would acquire Wellcome Taiwan Co (惠康百貨) for 97 million euros (US$108.33 million), and bring all the Wellcome supermarkets (頂好超市) and Jasons Market Place stores nationwide under its banner within 12 months of the deal closing. The France-based hypermarket chain reached an agreement with Hong Kong-based Dairy Farm International Holdings (牛奶國際控股), the pan-Asian retailer that launched Wellcome Taiwan in 1987. The transaction involves 199 Wellcome supermarkets, which have average sales areas of 420m2 and 25 high-end Jasons Market Place stores, which have an average sales area of 820m2, as well as a warehouse in Taoyuan, Carrefour Taiwan (家樂福)
SCATTERED: Production would be dispersed among a number of countries, which would bring an end to so-called world factories, Hon Hai chairman Young Liu said Decentralized production would be the new focus in manufacturing, Hon Hai Precision Industry Co (鴻海精密) chairman Young Liu (劉揚偉) yesterday told an online forum held by the Market Intelligence & Consulting Institute (MIC, 產業情報研究所). “The COVID-19 pandemic exerted a heavy impact on supply chains as well as production ... [production] would no longer be concentrated in solely one country, this is the end of what we used to call world factories,” Liu said during a panel discussion hosted by MIC director Victor Tsan (詹文男). As the US and China continue to dominate and sway international relations, the rest of the world is