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Author Topic: Patents given away? Elon Musk blazing a different sort of trail.  (Read 1795 times)
wraith808
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« on: June 12, 2014, 02:34:27 PM »

Tesla Just Gave All Its Patents Away to Competitors

While not as sensational as the title implies, he did just give the right to use patents used in building the Tesla to anyone who wants to use them.

Quote
Tesla CEO Elon Musk announced today that his company will not “initiate patent lawsuits against anyone who, in good faith, wants to use our technology.” In plain English, that means that if other car companies want to produce electric cars, they can use Tesla’s technology to do it, and, in turn, advance Musk’s sustainability vision.

“The mission of the company is to accelerate the widespread adoption of electric cars,” explained Tesla spokesperson Simon Sproule in an interview before the patent announcement was made. “If Tesla acts as the catalyst for other manufacturers … that will have been achieved.”

More at link... and announcement here.

Now that's some forward thinking for you.
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wraith808
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« Reply #1 on: June 13, 2014, 10:10:35 AM »

Interesting analysis of Tesla's move on Harvard Business Review.

Quote
The first thing to note is that Tesla is not truly giving away its secret sauce, the source of its competitive advantage. “There’s a lot of thinking in the research these days on the gap between the codified knowledge that is patentable and gets disclosed versus tacit knowledge that really exists in how you actually produce,” says Orly Lobel, a law professor at the University of San Diego specializing in intellectual property. “That gap is probably relevant in this market.”

A Tesla vehicle is quite literally more valuable than the sum of the parts, even when the value of the patented technology is included. “They have this sexy car that people are increasingly liking,” says Lobel. “It’s something different from just the aggregation of the knowledge in the patents.”

That thinking is echoed by Alberto Galasso, another IP expert at the University of Toronto, who put it this way: “A patent on a great technology is worth nothing if there is no threat of imitation.” Access to the patents doesn’t ensure that a competitor can execute on an equally innovative product.

Tesla is trying to thread the needle of expanding the industry without giving up its competitive position. By giving away access to its patents it is offering competitors a leg up, but not fully ceding its lead in innovation.

“Tesla is very much the dominant innovator in the industry, so it can afford making that move,” Lobel told me, adding that the company may hope that it will trigger reciprocal action by others equally committed to furthering the industry.

More at link.

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Renegade
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« Reply #2 on: June 13, 2014, 10:28:29 AM »

Don't forget the Tesla blog post title:

All Our Patent Are Belong To You

Tesla has gone from uber-cool, to I just don't have words for that - slack jaw glassy staring eyes - anything cooler would... nah... not possible.

 Thmbsup Thmbsup Thmbsup Thmbsup Thmbsup
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Stoic Joker
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« Reply #3 on: June 13, 2014, 11:52:07 AM »

You just gotta love this guy!

The Electric Tesla Roadster 0 to 60 in 3.7 seconds (and IIRC the top speed is around 130).

This patent move is a beautiful thing, that speaks back to the days when innovation made this country great. Now if we can just spice up the occasion by getting a few (dozen...) patent trolls to jump out of high-rise windows...we can go ahead and make this a national holiday.
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wraith808
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« Reply #4 on: June 13, 2014, 12:12:51 PM »

Well, he's also not stupid.  It's decidedly *not* open source.  He just said that those with the right intent- he won't go after.  Leaving the door open so that if someone has the wrong intent... well, he *will* go after them.

He sees the lay of the land... he's not competing with other electric car manufacturers.  He's competing with an entrenched enemy in the gas stations and the traditional car makers and the perceptions of what an electric car is.  He wants them to stop being seen as 'electric cars' and just be seen as 'cars'.  And he's going to get a lot of friction from a lot of different directions.  So... co-opt part of the perceived competition and turn them into allies against those who in the end probably never will be allies.  Get popular opinion on your side, and change the battleground.

Some serious Musashi going on here.  He's playing a totally different game, and I'm loving it!

This patent move is a beautiful thing, that speaks back to the days when innovation made this country great. Now if we can just spice up the occasion by getting a few (dozen...) patent trolls to jump out of high-rise windows...we can go ahead and make this a national holiday.

Engineers >> Patents
Innovation >> Lawsuits

I don't see why people don't see that the mind is the true treasure, and that the mind that conceived the idea is infinitely more valuable than any given idea.  And more minds looking at a problem produces better results in the end.

*sigh*
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« Reply #5 on: June 13, 2014, 12:14:18 PM »

Suddenly everybody loves electric cars  Wink

Generally, not on DC, you can't believe the number of times people dismiss electric cars when I talk about it. Casual conversations or otherwise.
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« Reply #6 on: June 13, 2014, 12:20:40 PM »

So the Toyota Prius - that I dearly love ripping to shreds - has a battery pack that is so expensive to replace that most people just have the thing crushed when it dies.

Tesla OTOH comes out with a battery pack that can be replaced in 90 seconds and creates a chain of "charging stations" where you pull in get the battery swapped for a full one and are on your was in 90 seconds or less. Which defers the battery cost over time so you never get hit with a whopper of a bill (like $3,000+) for a new battery.

Now that to me is freakin' brilliant!
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« Reply #7 on: June 13, 2014, 12:24:52 PM »

Suddenly everybody loves electric cars  Wink

Generally, not on DC, you can't believe the number of times people dismiss electric cars when I talk about it. Casual conversations or otherwise.

Most of the electric (/hybrid) cars on the market today have performance numbers that put them in line for a fair fight with a golf cart. The Tesla has performance numbers that put it in line for a fair fight with damn near anything on the street ... I like the Tesla for that, I always have.
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« Reply #8 on: June 13, 2014, 12:31:54 PM »

Engineers >> Patents
Innovation >> Lawsuits

I'm confused on this one. Are you saying that is what's supposed to happen, or that it is? With all the legal-riffic nonsense in the news these days it seems to me like most things are going back and forth instead of forward. Innovation requires that information be available and shared, not bound in red tape and squirreled away in secret siloes.
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wraith808
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« Reply #9 on: June 13, 2014, 12:51:33 PM »

No... I guess I confused it a bit with the two > signs. (d'oh!  It's not a bit shift)

Engineers are greater than the patents on the innovations they create... and innovations are greater than the lawsuits to maintain what you already have.
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« Reply #10 on: June 13, 2014, 06:45:53 PM »

Aren't two > signs physics-speak for "thing on left much much bigger than thing on right"?
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wraith808
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« Reply #11 on: June 13, 2014, 08:45:34 PM »

Aren't two > signs physics-speak for "thing on left much much bigger than thing on right"?

I thought so... but then I saw the ambiguity of it since >> is also a bit-shift.
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« Reply #12 on: June 13, 2014, 09:53:16 PM »

Aren't two > signs physics-speak for "thing on left much much bigger than thing on right"?

I thought so... but then I saw the ambiguity of it since >> is also a bit-shift.

Hehehe! Confusion only programmers would be afflicted with! Grin  Thmbsup

Tesla is a fantastic company for soooo many reasons.

Electricity is a far better energy source than fossil fuel for a lot of reasons, but at the top of my list is that you can generate electricity fairly easily on your own whereas you cannot produce fossil fuel period. This makes electric cars much more independent.

So imagine this...

You go to the theatre to watch the latest zombie apocalypse movie set in the not-too-distant future.

But in that future, people have solar arrays and geo-thermal electrical generators.

What's missing from the movie? People fighting over gasoline or struggling to find gasoline. They simply plug in to refuel their vehicles in an off-the-beaten-path remote location away from the zombie armies of darkness, and then they are on their way.

Or in any other post-apocalypse dystopian flick. Same deal. Electricity is far more abundant than fossil fuel. (Cue searches for plasma cosmology and plasma physics...)

Oh, and since electric cars are silent (mostly), they're easier to use in zombie infested areas!!!  Thmbsup

And when you look at Tesla car specs... wow. Just. Wow.

It's simply stunning that the big car manufacturers haven't been able to do this. I really wonder what's wrong with them. They have serious problems, and I suspect that the problems are systemic. We see the exact same kinds of lack of innovation in other large companies/industries, e.g. telcos haven't managed to improve the quality of voice communications in a century. ::facepalm::
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wraith808
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« Reply #13 on: June 13, 2014, 10:09:48 PM »

It's simply stunning that the big car manufacturers haven't been able to do this. I really wonder what's wrong with them. They have serious problems, and I suspect that the problems are systemic. We see the exact same kinds of lack of innovation in other large companies/industries, e.g. telcos haven't managed to improve the quality of voice communications in a century. ::facepalm::

The answer is very simple.

Elon Musk is Tony Stark.
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« Reply #14 on: June 13, 2014, 11:53:18 PM »

Elon Musk is Tony Stark.

HAHAHA~! Grin  Thmbsup
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J-Mac
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« Reply #15 on: June 14, 2014, 12:43:53 AM »

Electricity is a far better energy source than fossil fuel for a lot of reasons, but at the top of my list is that you can generate electricity fairly easily on your own whereas you cannot produce fossil fuel period. This makes electric cars much more independent.

In the future, hopefully. But today it takes lots of fossil fuel to generate the electricity. (So many people seem to miss this point.)

Jim
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« Reply #16 on: June 14, 2014, 01:32:40 AM »

In the future, hopefully. But today it takes lots of fossil fuel to generate the electricity. (So many people seem to miss this point.)

I could have been much clearer on that point... I don't mean running a gas generator.

Hydro, steam, solar and geothermal are some technologies that are far less fossil fuel intensive than simple fossil fuel combustion for electricity generation.

My point above was that fossil fuel reliance isn't something that a normal person can divorce themselves from, whereas with electricity, there are many ways that an individual can be self-sufficient. This alone makes electricity a very attractive energy source compared to fossil fuel, and especially within the context of vehicles and the upcoming zombie apocalypse! cheesy
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J-Mac
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« Reply #17 on: June 14, 2014, 04:31:51 AM »

Presently only about 16% of the world's electric power is from renewable sources, with almost all of the balance coming from Fossil fuels (67%) and nuclear plants (13%). Use of renewable sources is growing but it ain't here yet. Granted that electric cars themselves run cleaner those that run on gasoline/petrol. It's just the power we use to recharge them that still isn't that clean yet.

Getting there... slooowly.   Cool

Jim
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wraith808
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« Reply #18 on: June 14, 2014, 11:16:42 AM »

Presently only about 16% of the world's electric power is from renewable sources, with almost all of the balance coming from Fossil fuels (67%) and nuclear plants (13%). Use of renewable sources is growing but it ain't here yet. Granted that electric cars themselves run cleaner those that run on gasoline/petrol. It's just the power we use to recharge them that still isn't that clean yet.

Getting there... slooowly.   Cool

Jim

Not necessarily true.  I know of some people who charge their vehicles from renewable sources.  It's just more inconvenient.

It's really a matter of it becoming a priority at this point.
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J-Mac
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« Reply #19 on: June 14, 2014, 10:49:30 PM »

Presently only about 16% of the world's electric power is from renewable sources, with almost all of the balance coming from Fossil fuels (67%) and nuclear plants (13%). Use of renewable sources is growing but it ain't here yet. Granted that electric cars themselves run cleaner those that run on gasoline/petrol. It's just the power we use to recharge them that still isn't that clean yet.

Getting there... slooowly.   Cool

Jim

Not necessarily true.  I know of some people who charge their vehicles from renewable sources.  It's just more inconvenient.

It's really a matter of it becoming a priority at this point.

I understand that, but just the same only 16% of the world's electric power comes from renewable sources. Period. So if all owners of electric vehicles wanted to charge their cars from renewable sources then there will very soon be a point where there isn't enough such power to cover all the electric vehicles.

Believe me - I would prefer that all vehicles to be electrically powered! (And I desperately want that Tesla!!)  All I am saying is that we would not decrease our carbon footprint by as much as is thought by many, because for now - and the near future - fossil-powered power plants are needed in order to create enough electrical power to charge the vehicles. We do save the crap discharged into the atmosphere by gasoline engines, which is a big benefit. But we don’t stop using fossil fuels until there is a whole lot more renewable sourced power plants online. Which will be quite a while. There really needs to be another quantum leap in the technology for renewable-source power. E.g., we can't devote enough space to provide the windmills as desired by many. Plus windmills are only efficient in certain regions and the cost of distribution across the continent is prohibitive.

OK.. Enough from me for now.   smiley

Jim
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wraith808
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« Reply #20 on: June 15, 2014, 12:23:41 AM »

I understand that, but just the same only 16% of the world's electric power comes from renewable sources. Period. So if all owners of electric vehicles wanted to charge their cars from renewable sources then there will very soon be a point where there isn't enough such power to cover all the electric vehicles.

And it would hopefully fuel interest in it.  The reason that only 16% comes from renewable sources is because of the fact that it costs more and so the demand for higher cost energy when lower cost alternatives are available just isn't there.
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« Reply #21 on: June 15, 2014, 12:27:25 AM »

Yeah, but it's got to get there. As is often the case, people will realize it late and then there'll be a mad rush to develop and build more renewable plants.

(OK - The real poop? We won't have much more renewable energy until the oil and gas industry positions themselves to make the most possible money from it. Sad, but you know that will happen.)

Jim
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« Reply #22 on: June 15, 2014, 07:21:49 AM »

our carbon footprint

More carbon dioxide is better for plants. Grin BIOMASS! (From MARIJUANA!  Thmbsup )

It's a virtuous circle:

Coal > CO2 > Marijuana > world peace because everyone is stoned & biomass energy > CO2 > Marijuana...  Thmbsup

What's not to love/smoke?  Cool

Yeah, but it's got to get there. As is often the case, people will realize it late and then there'll be a mad rush to develop and build more renewable plants.

(OK - The real poop? We won't have much more renewable energy until the oil and gas industry positions themselves to make the most possible money from it. Sad, but you know that will happen.)

Jim

There are a lot of very interesting nascent technologies out there, e.g. Thorium reactors. But, they'll be suppressed until the big power companies/interests can rape them for as much $$$ as possible.

I'm not keen on wind as there are very real problems there that mainstream science ignores. I've ranted about that elsewhere and provided evidence on the topic that proves that mainstream science has its head up its arse.

Wraith is right about some technologies not being cost efficient at the moment. e.g. Payback on solar is only viable thanks to subsidies and government regulation, which means that recouping costs is entirely artificial, i.e. a lie. Still, I like solar as it's clean.

There are other problems with electricity though. It causes radiation, and those effects still aren't very well known, although we do know that in some situations/configurations it is lethal.

From what I can remember, going back to Maxwell's original equations, there is a type of mathematics (Hamiltonian something something) that is dropped from the simplified version used today. If there is any loss of fidelity there, then we're dealing with something that we are fundamentally not understanding properly. It wouldn't be the first time though. Same goes for Einstein's field equations leaving out torque (see Nassim Haramein's work in physics there). Mainstream science is very good at latching on to something and then calling it a day even when evidence shows it isn't correct.

Tesla, with the kind of leadership it has now, could very well be one of the most important pioneers in the future of energy.

If we take Tesla at face value, this patent move may well spur on or inspire others in the patent and energy worlds.

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wraith808
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« Reply #23 on: June 15, 2014, 12:11:58 PM »

Tesla, with the kind of leadership it has now, could very well be one of the most important pioneers in the future of energy.

If we take Tesla at face value, this patent move may well spur on or inspire others in the patent and energy worlds.

This.  The way that he was willing to invest his own money in the concept- and then succeed?  That's the kind of forward thinking we need.  And unless someone is willing to lead, it's unlikely that any will follow.

That's what's most exciting about what's being done with Tesla.  Not the car- but the leadership in a positive direction.  And that positive direction resulting in commercial success.  You don't have to be cut-throat to succeed.
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« Reply #24 on: June 16, 2014, 07:57:12 AM »

And that positive direction resulting in commercial success.  You don't have to be cut-throat to succeed.

^ That!  Thmbsup
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