Tesla Motors CEO Elon Musk is famous for bucking the patent trends of the United States, and now his company is bumping up against a sticky intellectual property situation in China as well.
The electric vehicle company made shockwaves in June when it announced that it would take a page out of the open source playbook and stop enforcing the patents it holds in the United States. The policy, according to Musk, is intended to encourage technological progress and strengthen the company. The announcement was viewed with skepticism in a time when companies are increasingly defensive – and litigious – about their intellectual property, especially patents. This move is seen as a shot across the bow of litigation-hungry entities, especially patent trolls.