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Tesla Opens Its Patents to Everyone

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Tesla wants to share its secret sauce with everyone.

Telsa CEO Elon Musk said in a blog post Thursday the automaker will not initiate patent lawsuits against anyone using the company’s technology “in good faith.”

Musk said in the post that while Tesla never wanted patents, he originally felt they were necessary to protect Tesla’s technology from misuse by rival car companies. But he’s now come around, and says this theory is wrong.

“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 non-existent, constituting an average of far less than 1% of their total vehicle sales,” he said.

Musk framed the new open source policy as an attempt to speed up efforts to address climate change.

“Given that annual new vehicle production is approaching 100 million per year and the global fleet is approximately 2 billion cars, it is impossible for Tesla to build electric cars fast enough to address the carbon crisis,” Musk said.

He believes that Tesla allowing others to use its technology will increase innovation, and that “the world would all benefit from a common, rapidly-evolving technology platform.” This could also benefit Tesla itself if other companies build charging stations or other products that support Tesla vehicles.

Tesla’s patent policy reversal comes as a surprise, as Tesla has been developing its $5 billion battery factory in recent months and many have thought the company would make much of its money on its battery technology intellectual property.

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