Tesla Motors CEO Elon Musk on Thursday vowed “Tesla will not initiate patent lawsuits against anyone who, in good faith, wants to use our technology."
Musk said Tesla was created to accelerate the adoption of sustainable transportation.
"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," he said.
Musk said that Tesla will continue to file for patents in the future, but only to prevent other entities from patenting Tesla's innovations.
"If a company is truly relying on patents or patent portfolio, that's a weak position," said Musk. "I think...this can be of modest help to others."
"We think the market is big enough for everyone," he said. "I don't think this hurts us, and if we can do things that don't hurt us and it can help the U.S. industry, we should do that."
Musk also expressed disappointment that big auto-manufacturers are doing so little to develop their own electric cars.
"Our true competition is not the small trickle of non-Tesla electric cars being produced, but rather the enormous flood of gasoline cars pouring out of the world's factories every day," he said.
To that end, Musk indicated he felt US patent law was flawed and in need of reform.
"There is far too much effort and energy put into creating patents that do not end up fostering innovation," he said
Shares of Tesla (TSLA) fell more than 1%on the news, but have climbed about 35% so far this year.