Tesla's Elon Musk: Use Our Patents in Good Health

Jun 12, 2014 03:43 PM EDT | Jordan Ecarma

Tesla Motors CEO Elon Musk just opened up the company's patent collection to the world.

The move, which makes the electric carmaker's patents open-source, is intended to further the shift to electric cars, the Los Angeles Times reported. Musk announced in a blog post on Thursday that Tesla's patents are up for grabs.

"Tesla will not initiate patent lawsuits against anyone who, in good faith, wants to use our technology," Musk said in the post.

The company is making both its electric car patents and supercharger infrastructure technology available, and Musk is already in talks with BMW to develop ways to share Tesla's chain of charging stations for electric vehicles.

Patents too often stifle innovation, resulting in lawsuits and crushing creativity, Musk said.

"Technology leadership is not defined by patents, which history has repeatedly shown to be small protection indeed against a determined competitor," he said, "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."

Looking for "common sense and fairness" when it comes to other companies using Tesla patents, Musk said that the Palo Alto, Calif.-based company's true competition is the continued production of gasoline-powered vehicles.

"We think the market is plenty big enough for everyone," said Musk. "If we can do things that don't hurt us and help the U.S. industry we should do that."

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

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