In 2014, Elon Musk announced that he was “open-sourcing” Tesla’s patents. He argued that doing so would allow the electric vehicle market to grow more rapidly. While Musk’s original announcement was short on details, the company has since provided additional information regarding the use of Tesla’s patents in its Patent Pledge. Echoing language from Musk’s announcement, the Patent Pledge states that Tesla “will not initiate a lawsuit against any party for infringing a Tesla Patent through activity relating to electric vehicles or related equipment for so long as such party is acting in good faith.”
The Patent Pledge provides a potential path for companies to use the technology covered by Tesla’s patent portfolio. Tesla is the assignee of over 350 U.S. utility and design patents covering a broad range of technology, from thermal management systems to door handles. However, companies considering whether to use Tesla’s patented technology should carefully review several key restrictions found in the Pledge.
Continue reading A Closer Look at Tesla’s Open-Source Patent Pledge
This week marks the one-year anniversary of our first post to the Duane Morris Green IP Blog, so we thought we’d mark the occasion with a look back at our top posts of the first year. This list was developed subjectively from a loose combination of reader feedback, page traffic, and republication. Continue reading Top Posts from Our First Year of the Duane Morris Green IP Blog
This post was co-authored by Justus Getty and Nicole Candelori.
- Sollega, a provider of modular solar panel mounting solutions, has taken steps to protect its intellectual property. Those steps include federally registering a trademark and obtaining a U.S. Patent.
San Francisco-based Sollega, Inc., specializes in the design and manufacturing of ballasted commercial flat-roof and ground mount racking solutions. While much of the focus of the solar industry has been on the rapidly decreasing prices for solar panels (for example, see our earlier post here), Sollega is looking to reduce the cost associated with a different part of the solar equation: installation. Sollega states that its modular mounting racks with pre-set inclines offer the potential to more quickly install solar panels and thus achieve substantial savings in labor costs. Continue reading IP Profile: Solar Panel Mounting Company Sollega, Inc.
- A helical wind turbine design by Change Wind Corporation was denied registration as a trademark because the design was deemed functional rather than ornamental, and Change Wind was unable to prove that customers knew the source of the design.
- It can be difficult to register product designs as trademarks once the features of the design are the subject of a patent application.
The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office denied an application by wind turbine manufacturer Change Wind Corporation to register its helical turbine design (shown below) as a trademark. The denial likely ends Change Wind’s quest to be granted exclusive rights to the registration of this specific design. Continue reading Why Change Wind Corporation Cannot Register Its Helical Turbine as a Trademark