Tesla Motors (TSLA) Takes Unprecedented Step

Electric carmaker Tesla Motors (TSLA) took  an unprecedented step this week by opening its patent portfolio to outside use.

In a company blog post on Thursday, Tesla’s chief executive Elon Musk said his company, which has about 200 patents, will not pursue patent lawsuits against anyone who wants to use its electric-car technology “in good faith.”

“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,” Musk wrote.

Musk also said that technology leadership is not “defined by patents, which history has repeatedly shown to be small protection indeed against a determined competitor, but rather by the ability of a company to attract and motivate the world’s most talented engineers.”

Musk believes that applying the open source philosophy to his company’s patents “will strengthen, rather than diminish, Tesla’s position in this regard.”

Shares in the $26 billion market cap company fell almost one point to $203.52 following the news. The stock traded as high as $209.88 intraday.

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