Fancy your hand building the electric car of the future? South African-born entrepreneur Elon Musk just made it a hell of a lot easier for you. His firm, Tesla, just announced that it will make every single patent it has registered free for anyone to use.

Which is, you know, huge.

In this day and age of heavy-handed patent protection and legal actions designed to protect ‘innovation’, one of the most innovative companies in the world just went ahead and told you to copy it.

While this may seem like madness to traditionally-minded inventors, Musk’s plan is that by letting others use Tesla technology, there will be more electric cars on the road which will mean more charging stations which will mean – ultimately – more potential customers for Tesla.

“We believe that Tesla, other companies making electric cars, and the world would all benefit from a common, rapidly-evolving technology platform,” says Musk on the company blog, “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. We believe that applying the open source philosophy to our patents will strengthen rather than diminish Tesla’s position in this regard.”

Now, if we can just get Musk to talk to Eskom about this load shedding…

[Image – Wikimedia Commons]
Adam is the Editorial Director at htxt media. He has been writing about technology for almost two full decades now. In a previous life, he was the editor of PC Format and Digital Camera Shopper in the UK, before going on to work as a freelance journalist for seven years. His work has appeared in or on Stuff, The Guardian, Linux Format, TechRadar,, PC Gamer, Green Futures, The Journalist, The Ecologist and The Review. Adam moved to South Africa in 2012 and loves 3D printers, MakerFairs and tech hubs. He hates seafood. None of his friends remember this when cooking.