Patents to protect or drive innovation?

lock and keysWhat are patents all about? According to Wikipedia, a patent is a set of exclusive rights granted to an inventor or assignee for a limited period of time in exchange for detailed public disclosure of an invention. The exclusive right granted to a patentee in most countries is the right to prevent others from commercially making, using, selling, importing, or distributing a patented invention without permission.

Please note some of the words used: exclusive, prevent, permission…. Really stifling and restricting, which is not what we need to drive change for a better world.

Electric car company Tesla has just turned the patent world upside down by announcing that it would share all of its patents to speed up its mission of accelerating sustainable transport. On his blog, Tesla CEO Elon Musk shares his strong belief that “the world would all benefit from a common, rapidly evolving technology platform”.

Generosity pays

The reactions to the generous act have been very positive – generating response from business media, sustainability platforms and other CEOs, like Richard Branson. And generosity does not just pay off in words, as clearly demonstrated by Tesla’s soaring stock price! Great to see that it is possible for business to contribute to a better future and to their own bottom line!

Release of which other patents would help unleash a sustainability revolution?

Written by: Marjolein Baghuis @mbaghuis      Photo by: © Kmitu Dreamstime



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