Eric Wesoff is Editor-at-Large at Greentech Media. Prior to joining GTM, Eric Wesoff founded Sage Marketing Partners in 2000 to administer sales and also marketing-consulting solutions to venture-funding firms and also their portfolio companies in the alternate energy and teleinteractions sectors. Mr. Wesoff has actually come to be a famous, respected authority and speaker in these areas. His specialization covers solar power, fuel cells, biofuels and also advanced batteries. His strengths are in industry research and analysis, service breakthrough and also due diligence for investors. He generally consults for power startups and also Silsymbol Valley"s premier venture capitalists.

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Tesla’s Elon Musk Declares ‘All Our Patent Are Belong to You’


Today, in a blog article entitled, "All Our Patent Are Belong to You," Tesla CEO Elon Musk tore down the patent wall. He wrote:Yesterday, tbelow was a wall surface of Tesla patents in the lobby of our Palo Alto headquarters. That is no much longer the case. They have been removed, in the heart of the open up source activity, for the advance of electric auto modern technology.

Musk decreased the gravity of his action in a press briefing, saying, "I do not desire to overstate the worth of patents," and also dubbed it a "modest point." He sassist that relying on an existing set of patents was a sign of weakness, writing:

Technology management is not defined by patents, which history has actually consistently presented to be small defense indeed versus a figured out challenger, however quite by the capacity of a company to entice and motivate the world’s many talented designers. We think that using the open up resource ideology to our patents will certainly strengthen quite than diminish Tesla’s position in this regard.

Musk emphasized that the liberation of the "hundreds" and eventually "thousands" of patents will assist Tesla in recruiting the finest technological talent despite "some wide-eyed looks" from people on the board and also administration team. Musk sassist, "Technical leadership was established by wbelow the ideal designers desire to occupational," he wrote, adding, "If I was graduating from college, this would make a distinction to me."

He shelp it would make a distinction to "the extremely finest designers."

Tesla Motors was developed to accelerate the introduction of sustainable transfer. If we clear a course to the development of compelling electrical vehicles, however then lay intellectual residential or commercial property landmines behind us to inhibit others, we are acting in a manner contrary to that goal. Tesla will not initiate patent lawsuits versus anyone who, in excellent confidence, desires to usage our modern technology.


Musk said, "Early on I assumed patents were a good point," yet he has actually since involved the conclusion that the "modern technology does not usually benefit." Musk cited the Apple-Samsung patent problem as having "no benefits" for either side and not serving shareholders. Musk sassist that Tesla was not going to stop filing patents, however would certainly proceed to put them in the open resource category. Musk listed that SpaceX has actually "practically no patents."

Musk wrote:

Too often these days, they serve just to stifle development, entrench the positions of gigantic corporations and also enrich those in the legal profession, rather than the actual inventors.

Ira Ehrenpreis, cleantech partner at Technology Partners and an early investor in Tesla, told GTM:

By catalyzing the relocate to better EV adoption, Tesla stands to come to be a significant player in a bigger segment of the market as opposed to the only player in a small niche. Second, unlike an open-source platdevelop choose Linux, Tesla actually produces the end product. Consumers are not making their purchase decision based on patented innovations or functions only. It is brand desircapacity, design, top quality, purchasing suffer, superchargers, and so on. Tesla’s success is a duty of the total desircapacity of its product and also full appeal of the ownership endure.

Nancy Pfund, Managing Partner at DBL Investors and also an investor in Tesla, commented to GTM:

As usual, Elon is ten steps ahead of us, actually doing something that we all wish we can carry out however don"t have actually the guts or panache to pull off. Just as the car dealer regulations have actually veered method off course from what might have been a legitimate function (100?) years earlier, the patent system has morphed ameans from its pro-inventor roots and currently gobbles up time, talent and sources in a way that is at finest protective and at worst crippling.


I wouldn"t say that Tesla"s move alone will certainly readjust the means patents are provided in the creation world, but that in the conmessage of a wider activity to re-study their appropriate role, today"s announcement will certainly be viewed as significantly considerable.

At the same time, anyone who has invested 10 seconds in the Tesla Fremont factory knows that the genuine competitive advantage Tesla enjoys does not live in a box of patents taken off the wall but in its civilization, its prodigious work ethic, and also its soul to lead us into a sustainable 21st century. I think that larger purpose is what is resonating through world, that our planet is also vital to leave to an arcane, slow-relocating IP machine. A machine that divides quite than unites common action versus the formidable opponent that is fossil-fuel moved climate change.

Steve Jurvetchild of DFJ, an early investor in Tesla, commented on the blog, "Engineers >> Patents. The capacity to innovate is more necessary than any kind of one innovation." Jurvetboy cited a patent regulation professor who shelp, "Yes, it has brought about a flurry in the patent bar, as you could imagine. And I had actually lunch via an in-house IP counsel at a firm who said he had 64 emails this morning from designers at his company saying "Why can"t we do that?" Good for Elon."

Eric L. Lane, a patent attorney at Green Patent Law and author of The Green Patent Blog, had this to say to GTM:

The notion of donating green modern technology patents is not brand-new. This is a move in the tradition of the Eco-Patent Commons (a repository of donated patents directed to various modern technologies conferring environmental benefits) but Tesla’s patent “commons” is a lot even more significant and also most likely to have a better influence. While the Eco-Patent Commons consists of tiny random slices of innovations the donating providers had bit interest in exploiting, Tesla’s patent portfolio is large in breadth and scope and presumably has the crvery own jewels of the agency.The question is to what level various other EV players will be motivated to invest in production vehicles making use of Tesla’s patented and patent-pending innovation through the apparent upside being the prrange creation that modern technology brings and also the dvery own side being no exclusivity, instead of investing in their own R&D and patent security wbelow the upside might be exclusivity and also the dvery own side might be inferior or unprcooktop innovations.

Ben Kallo of investment Bank RW Baird writes in an analyst note:

We believe the opening of patents is incrementally positive, as the decision can ultimately increase the adoption of electrical vehicles while sustaining much faster breakthrough of the supercharger network.

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Musk shelp he was "disappointed" in the absence of progress that EVs have made in penetrating the marketlocation via a existing sector share "well below 1 percent."

Musk sees the patents allowing others to take the tiny cell strategy that Tesla uses in its powerload. Musk likewise shelp that high-speed charging was an area ripe for collaboration and would certainly be well offered by an open-resource method. The Tesla CEO doesn"t check out a big momentary impact: "People overworth patents as a competitive aspect," he sassist, including, "In the lengthy term, I"m hoping this improves the rate of shift to electrical carry."

"I think this is good for Tesla and also the electrical automobile industry" and also "the best point for the agency," Musk said.

Steve Jurvetson, an early Tesla investor, posted a photo of the Tesla Motors Patent Wall surface, composing, "I acquired a photo of it before its demolishment."