This is not ground breaking proceedure for a company to release patent protection, but for a leader in innovation it sends a strong message. Tesla explains their decision in their blog just recently.
Tesla Motors was created to accelerate the advent of sustainable transport. If we clear a path to the creation of compelling electric vehicles, but then lay intellectual property landmines behind us to inhibit others, we are acting in a manner contrary to that goal. Tesla will not initiate patent lawsuits against anyone who, in good faith, wants to use our technology.
Open source is a term that has gained familiarity regarding technology that has a higher priority on innovation than that of protectionism. I first heard about the concept while studying 3D animation. I heard a story about a disillusioned “inventor/coder” that sold his life work to a company only to find that the product would be misrepresented in an undesirable fashion. He felt so strongly about his convictions that he took the source code and put it on the internet to be used an improved by all who were interest and found that the software advanced by drastic improvements in a very short time frame. Now, that’s passion for you! Isn’t there a saying that, “if you love something, let it go…”?
What do you think Tesla was thinking when they chose such drastic options?