Why Did Elon Musk Open Up Tesla's Patents to the Competition?

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Tesla’s 'generous' release of its patents is a brilliant marketing move, but the last paragraph of Mr. Musk’s blog  really says it all: in a rapidly evolving market like electric cars, patents provide modest protection and Tesla’s preeminent position stems from staying ahead of the pack, not its existing patent portfolio. Besides, Tesla excels due to the convergence of its unorthodox technology and business strategies. Tesla’s announcement is kind of like Tim Hudson announcing that anyone who wants to copy his pitching style is free to do so.  Good luck with that!

We asked IP attorneys writing on JD Supra what to make of recent news that Tesla Motors will be opening up its patents to spur innovation in the electric car field (see CEO Elon Musk's blog post: All Our Patent Are Belong to You.). We heard the above from Joshua Cohen, IP partner at California-based law firm Wendel Rosen.

Additional insights:

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We'll post additional perspectives on the Tesla story here, as they come in.

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DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

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