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How Tesla's Open-Source Patents Help Indian Startups


Tesla is a well-known company in the world. Telsa Inc which was formerly known as Tesla Motors, Inc is an American electric vehicle company. It is actually a clean energy company which is based in Palo Alto, California. Tesla mostly manufactures electric vehicles, solar roof tile manufacturing, solar panels, battery energy storage from home to grid-scale, and also the acquisition of the Solar City. Tesla Motors was actually founded in the year 2003 by the engineer's Marc Tarpenning and Martin Eberhard. The company's name has been set keeping in view the electrical engineer and inventor Nikola Tesla. There are other three employees of this company namely J.B. Straubel, Ian Wright, and the most famous Elon Musk. They even are believed to be the co-founders of this company.




Elon Musk was the former Chairman of the company. But now, he is the CEO of the company and has envisioned Tesla Motors as a great technological company and truly independent auto-maker which aims at offering electric cars and vehicles at a very economic and affordable price keeping in mind the average consumer. There is a point to ponder. Tesla Motors in the year 2017 has changed, actually shortened its name to Tesla. Tesla after having a decade's experience in the market is ranked as the world's best selling plug-in as well as the best selling electric passenger car manufacturer by cars which were sold in the year 2019. It should be known that the automotive group and the brand (both) has a great market share of 23% in the battery-electric segment and  around 17% in the plug-in segment.




All Our Patent Are Belong To You: Elon Musk

Patent Pledge

          "All Our Patent Are Belong To You."  With this statement, Elon Musk took the world by storm. This can also be stated as a good news for Startups across the globe and especially, for Startups in India. Before diving deep into it, let us know the exact Patent Pledge, Tesla Pledge and other information issued by Tesla.




On 12th June, 2014, Tesla announced that it will not initiate any patent lawsuits against anyone who "in good faith" wants to use its technology. It is a well-known fact that Tesla was created to accelerate the advent of sustainable transport. And this policy is intended to encourage the rapidly growing and evolving platform for electric vehicles by which it would benefit Tesla and other electric vehicle companies in America and across the globe.

Tesla’s Pledge

During the same time period, Tesla also pledged that it will not initiate any lawsuit against any party for infringing a Tesla Patent and other activities relating to electric vehicles as long as the party acts in "good faith." 
          Therefore, it means that Tesla's agreement not to sue any party for patent infringement extends only for the companies "as long as the party is acting in good faith." Here are the main statements and patent information which Tesla has issued:
A party is "acting in good faith" for so long as such party and its related or affiliated companies have not:
1. asserted, helped others assert or had a financial stake in any assertion of (i) any patent or another intellectual property right against Tesla or (ii) any patent right against a third party for its use of technologies relating to electric vehicles or related equipment;
2. challenged, helped others challenge, or had a financial stake in any challenge to any Tesla patent; or
3. marketed or sold any knock-off product (e.g., a product created by imitating or copying the design or appearance of a Tesla product or which suggests an association with or endorsement by Tesla) or provided any material assistance to another party doing so.
          The above statements means that if a company becomes smarter and tries to sue Tesla for infringement of their own patent rights, it cannot. This is because it has some interesting implications as the legal action is considered to be the final, and if not it only means to enforce the intellectual property rights.  Moreover, it means that Tesla could use the patents of other companies safely using its own patents. Even if the other company didn't "open-source" their patent rights, they cannot sue Tesla for infringement because the agreement reads that they have to use Tesla's patents in "good faith." 

Indian Startups Benefit From Tesla's Patent  

Many companies might be tempted to use Tesla's Patents for free but there is something deep inside. Without understanding it, one shouldn't blindly go ahead with their decision by looking at the matter superficially. It seems like a fair trade but it scares away plenty of already settled and established companies and corporations with an extensive patent portfolio. 




             But there is a catch here! This would especially help the smaller companies and the Startups. This is because the Startups and smaller companies come with little intellectual propriety and they would get access to all the important patents while giving Tesla in return access to a small portfolio or so to say nothing. Hence, this is a win-win situation for the Startups and the smaller companies. Although Elon Musk didn't confirm the companies which are at present using the patents of Tesla. But it would be quite exciting and interesting to know whether the established automakers are using this or the Startups. It is also sure that new electronic vehicle companies will come out in the future using Tesla's patents but they will have to give their patent portfolios to Tesla which is clearly mentioned in the Patent Pledge agreement.



          Tesla's patents are of open source to anyone. The main reason behind this is to make sustainable development in the world. Elon Musk is against the use of gasoline vehicles and always wanted to use renewable sources of energy without depending on fossil fuels for long as it can deplete from the world in the near times. Hence, it can be said that Musk is a visionary and thinks about the collective good of the humans and nature as well. This open and free patent source has helped many Startups to kick out and use it and produce Electric Vehicles (EVs). It is only when people use electric vehicles then alone to some extent we can decrease the effects of climate change. This is because climate change is the enemy for humans now. Recently, in Australia, there were innumerable floods, droughts, wildfire, and much more which never happened before. This is one of the main reasons why Tesla struggles every single day and inspires the next generation of Startups to choose EVs over gasoline vehicles.
The below mentioned words of Elon Musk makes his ideology clear:
          "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 (31st Jan, 2019)
           Elon Musk was very happy after knowing that a lot more companies are now producing electric vehicles instead of petroleum run vehicles. These EVs coming to the market are making Musk happy and strongly believes that in future people will use electronic vehicles instead of the existing vehicles which are polluting and doesn't contribute to sustainable growth.
         Startups always look for great working model and when we look at Tesla, it is a highly successful company. Hence, Startups do not hesitate to go ahead and start an electric vehicle or automobile companies as they know it will work because it has already worked in some other part of the world, and they are certain that it will work in India as well. Some of the electric vehicle Startups in India are Adapt Motors, Elecnovo, Emflux Motors, E Trio, EVQPoint, EV Techno Electra Motors, Twenty Two Motors, Virya Mobility, Zeuva Technologies, Zevpoint E Mobility, and so on and so forth.

Therefore, Musk's idea of open-sourcing the Tesla's patents is quite pure, clean and genuine. He aims at sustainable development of the world and not to depend solely on the fossil fuels which would deplete from the earth in the times to come, and rely on the renewable source of energy. And he was highly successful in Tesla which even inspired many young Startups in India to produce electric vehicles instead of gasoline vehicles.

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