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June 15, 2014


Michael, your analysis is spot-on. As for Musk's ostensibly anti-patent stance, ask yourself this: if Tesla hadn't applied for and obtain so many patents, would it have been as successful as it has been in raising capital to fund its operations?

bread and circuses and nothing new under the sun...


Musk's announcement is a publicity stunt. Why? Most of his patents are invalid. I have read over 50 news stories about his stunt, and not one reporter considered this at all. Tesla has large numbers of patents that cite next to no prior art - a classic warning flag of crap. I doubt highly most would survive a well-funded court challenge or IPR. So what is he donating?

Greg Aharonian

"Perhaps of more concern is what happens if Tesla sells its patents. Are good faith users then subject to lawsuits?"

Do you suppose that an estoppel would travel with the sold patent? Or an implied license? If Tesla sells a patent, the buyer would normally take only what Tesla had when it sold.

Greg: "Musk's announcement is a publicity stunt. Why? Most of his patents are invalid."

Hardly unusual. It's also true of Myriad.

Richard Stern,

That seems to beg the question.

I think people are recognizing that - in certain parlance - the Tesla patents retain the right of reverter, and any "goodwill" use may - or may not - be equivalent to life estates.

Remember, a mere license (without more) usually does not bind a purchaser and the pre-sale owner has the right of revocation at any time (again, without more, as in writing to the contrary).

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