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01 Feb 2019

Use Tesla's released patents to save Earth, urges Elon Musk

Musk again urges use of Tesla's released patents

At a time when US tech companies have been accusing Chinese nationals of technology theft, Tesla CEO Elon Musk, on Thursday, reiterated that Tesla's patents were out for anyone to use.

Saying that his competition was not other electric vehicle (EV) makers but vehicles that run on fossil fuels, Musk said that he welcomed the use of Tesla's technology by others.

Here's more.

In context

Musk again urges use of Tesla's released patents
The real enemy to a sustainable future is gasoline

Twitter

The real enemy to a sustainable future is gasoline

In a Twitter thread, the mercurial Tesla CEO spoke of a sustainable future with electric vehicles, and said that the "small trickle of non-Tesla electric being produced" was not the competition.

Instead, Musk said that the "flood of gasoline cars pouring out of the world's factories every day" was the real enemy to a sustainable future.

READ: The Twitter thread where Musk issued his reminder

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Blog post

Musk reminded everyone that Tesla patents had been released earlier

Musk, who has always claimed that the future of humanity is his primary concern, backed up his comments by saying that Tesla would welcome the use of its technology if the same was used to try and create a better future.

Referring to a blog post dated June 12, 2014, Musk reminded Twitter and other netizens that Tesla had, long back, released its patents.

Patents run contrary to Tesla's larger goal

"Tesla Motors was created to accelerate the advent of sustainable transport. 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," explained the blog post.

Musk's move was welcome break in the otherwise secretive industry

Significance

Musk's move was welcome break in the otherwise secretive industry

Indeed, Musk's move to release Tesla's patents in 2014 was a remarkable one, considering that the electric vehicle (EV) industry is one where every idea or innovation is closely guarded to protect its monetary value.

By reminding everyone that Tesla's patents were for all to use, Musk again reiterated that his long-term goal was the betterment of humankind and not merely profits.

Tesla will not sue anyone over the use of patents

"Tesla will not initiate patent lawsuits against anyone who, in good faith, wants to use our technology...We believe that Tesla, other companies making electric cars, and the world would all benefit from a common, rapidly-evolving technology platform," the blog post further adds.

The problem

Why Musk wants others to use Tesla's technology

In the blog post, Musk had earlier rightly pointed out that the rate of global gasoline car production - almost 100 million a year - was too high for Tesla alone to combat and address the carbon crisis.

The idea behind releasing patents was to spur other manufacturers into using Tesla's technology to create clean energy cars for a more sustainable future.

Making technology open source only adds to its potential

"Technology leadership is not defined by patents...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," concluded the post.

Meanwhile, others are sparring over patents

Timing

Meanwhile, others are sparring over patents

Incidentally, Musk's tweets came on a day when Apple charged a Chinese engineer with stealing technology from its secret self-driving car project.

Last year, too, Apple had levelled similar charges against another Chinese official.

Meanwhile, a few days back, Chinese smartphone manufacturer Huawei was charged with technology theft and financial crimes.

Given the sparring over patents, Musk's reminder about the bigger picture was indeed a refreshing break.

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