In a move which seems conventionally unwise, Tesla Motors, has decided to release its patents to competitors and developers for free. After having traditionally only obtained “defensive” patents (preventing the theft of their technology but not hindering the work of others), they have decided that open borders means more to them than exclusive rights. They are releasing access to their patents to spur development, increase the availability of charging stations, and encourage the general use of electric cars
This move is in many ways a selfless one: this may decrease Tesla’s market share of electric car related activities while putting tools in the hands of competitors. It appears it may already be lightly negatively impacting Tesla Motor’s stock price. Fortunately, the good press and increased interest in, and advancement, of electric cars should make this move worth more than any losses. And lastly, when information is open-sourced and put freely in the hands of the interested: development and understanding tend to boom. So, if you have the necessary skills and understanding to make use of them and help reduce dependence on fossil fuels: feel free to start working on upping the game.