What’s more important? Keeping your patents secret in case someone tries to copy your life’s work, or actively promoting a zero-carbon emission world? This is the ethical issue that Elon Musk had to grapple with and recently explained in a blog post on Tesla’s website.
Musk announced that all of Tesla’s patents are now available to the public. This move is not to empower the competition, but rather to fast-track the move to an all-electric powered world. This makes a lot of sense, considering the slow pace of how the world is adapting to electric vehicles (EVs)… and the comparatively rapid rate at which the planet is warming thanks to our continued addiction to fossil fuels.
He truly believes that sharing his knowledge could legitimately help make the world a better place.
Our true competition is not the small trickle of non-Tesla electric cars being produced, but rather the enormous flood of gasoline cars pouring out of the world’s factories every day
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) January 31, 2019
The blog post makes it clear that Tesla’s CEO doesn’t about other car companies trying to steal their stuff, mostly because EV development is so limited. Traditional car companies mostly still focus on building and shipping petrol-powered cars — and that’s the real issue, according to Musk.
Furthermore, public patents in the tech industry could also help smaller companies who are trying to enter the market. Heck, if anything is going to increase the move to EVs, Musk seems to be behind it. Which is definitely a better approach than clinging to patents for the sake of filing lawsuits… which tends to be the way of big corporates.