Aptera and Tesla patents

Aptera Community Aptera Discussions Aptera and Tesla patents

Aptera Community Aptera Discussions Aptera and Tesla patents

  • Aptera and Tesla patents

     Pistonboy Delux updated 1 month ago 4 Members · 7 Posts
  • Pistonboy Delux

    Member
    October 29, 2021 at 9:23 pm

    Tesla has an open source attitude towards its patents. It has stated other companies can use Tesla patents, but they too must open their patents to other companies.

    Does anyone realize what a big advantage this is to startups like Aptera?

    Aptera has no patents other companies can use. Thus, Aptera (and other startups) can use Tesla patents for free. Aptera (and others startups) have everything to gain and nothing to loose.

    Is this why the Aptera steering column and dash are just like Tesla? I don’t know if these would be covered by patents or not.

    What about software? Is it open source to be used too? That would explain why the screen display looks like Tesla’s. Crank Software company would only have to make small modifications to existing Tesla software that already has the bugs worked out. Come to think of it, software was the first thing to be open sourced.

    This might mean small startups run away with the BEV industry leaving the legacy manufacturers behind. All the patents they (legacy companies) have on combustion engines would be worthless, but the startups are all sharing their knowledge while the legacy companies are left behind, unable to use the new BEV knowledge.

    If this is how it turns out, it would be very changing.

  • Randy J

    Member
    October 30, 2021 at 2:48 pm

    I’m surprised to hear we have no patents. I thought that was part our advantage.

    Is our only advantage first to market? There have been a few solar EV related news bits this week. We may be running out of time. I have many dollars invested here. This story needs to evolve quickly.

  • Curtis Cibinel

    Member
    October 30, 2021 at 3:19 pm

    I’m quite sure Aptera has some valuable patents. Part of the history when they restarted was they managed to buy the IP from the original business from 2010 (indirectly via some chinese companies that had them in the mid 2010s).

    Value of the patent system is something I’ll avoid going into due to forum policies on politics.
    No idea if Aptera is using any Tesla IP/patents and will be opening its patents as a result; they have never discussed this in interviews. The Tesla charge port could be licensed (if we get it) without opening all Aptera IP and the visual similarity of the steering wheel may not be patent encumbered.

  • Hans Roes

    Member
    November 1, 2021 at 3:23 am

    Pistonboy, I think you should read the fine print that comes with Tesla’s open patents pledge. There’s a reason why almost no company has taken them up on it and it is because there are a few things in the fine print that can become very damaging to any company that takes Tesla up on its offer.

    To put it simple, any manufacturer can sign an agreement with Tesla to use a part of Tesla’s patent portfolio (notice that Tesla has not included all patents they have, most prominently the patents surrounding battery technology are not included) but that agreement bans that company from pursuing any lawsuit against any other company in relation to patents. This means that if you do ever develop anything that is worthy of protecting with a patent, you cannot defend that patent thanks to the deal with Tesla. Tesla on the other hand does not have that limitation as they have not given that same limitation to themselves.

    Hence it is not a true open approach to intellectual property and is mostly a PR trick.

    • Curtis Cibinel

      Member
      November 1, 2021 at 10:18 am

      Wow devils in the details. I could understand not being allowed to sue tesla for patent infringement but being blocked from protecting any IP from anyone is insane.

      • Hans Roes

        Member
        November 1, 2021 at 10:53 am

        The wording as written down by Tesla in it’s pledge:

        “Tesla Patents” means all patents owned now or in the future by Tesla (other than a patent owned jointly with a third party or any patent that Tesla later acquires that comes with an encumbrance that prevents it from being subject to this Pledge). A list of Tesla Patents subject to the Pledge will be maintained at the following URL: https://www.tesla.com/legal/additional-resources#patent-list.

        A party is “acting in good faith” for so long as such party and its related or affiliated companies have not:

        – asserted, helped others assert or had a financial stake in any assertion of (i) any patent or other intellectual property right against Tesla or (ii) any patent right against a third party for its use of technologies relating to electric vehicles or related equipment
        – challenged, helped others challenge, or had a financial stake in any challenge to any Tesla patent
        – marketed or sold any knock-off product (e.g., a product created by imitating or copying the design or appearance of a Tesla product or which suggests an association with or endorsement by Tesla) or provided any material assistance to another party doing so.

        So what that indeed says is: you can’t defend your own EV patents nor can you work with any company that defends its patents in relationship to EV technology but Tesla on the other hand can defend it’s own patents and can work with companies that do not open up their patents to the world. This places any company that signs up to this in a very disadvantageous position. Because you might not have IP you want to defend today, but that says nothing about innovation in the future. But since you are using Tesla tech, you can never protect your own IP. In almost any instance it would be better to get a closed licensing agreement if you really want to use any of the Tesla IP or work around the Tesla IP by finding a different solution.

  • Pistonboy Delux

    Member
    November 3, 2021 at 8:52 am

    Yes, I am aware your own company must make its own patents open to other companies, and this applies to future patents as well. Large companies like GM have many patents and would not want a “deal” like this. But a company starting up from scratch does not have patents to offer to the world.

    Startup companies would gain but loose nothing. While this may help them survive against the large companies, it may prevent them from ever becoming a large company. But startup companies usually fail. If I created a startup company, I would be more concerned with simply surviving than becoming a dominant player.

    Tesla is a vertically integrated company. They perform many jobs that other companies would farm out to other companies. They make many items that other companies would purchase from suppliers. Many of their patents would not be applicable to startup companies, because a small startup would not be making many of their own parts or software. Because Tesla is vertically integrated, this “deal” would apply to a broad range of industries appearing to have little related to each other.

    I understand “Open Source” approach has worked will in the software realm. This appears that Tesla is trying to apply the same principal to hardware, processes, and other patentable things.

    While forum subjects like options chosen and wrap colors are interesting, I find these detailed nitty-gritty subjects interesting.

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