都是套路:特斯拉专利免费

特斯拉宣布专利开源时,国内一片叫好,但是,如果仔细研究特斯拉专利开源承诺,就会发现条件极其苛刻,如果一家公司想免费使用特斯拉的专利而不被起诉侵权,他至少得做到这几点:

首先,这家公司基本上要放弃主张自己和电动汽车有关的任何知识产权的权利,注意,是任何知识产权,不仅仅是专利,还包括商标、商业秘密等。公司如果没有知识产权保护,市场竞争力会大为削弱,而且也会影响投资人对公司的估值。

其次,也不能进行任何无效特斯拉专利的事情, 甚至包括和无效特斯拉的人有任何经济利益。如果你的客户去无效特斯拉的专利,也有可能被认为是和无效请求方有经济利益;

最后,不能从事任何仿冒特斯拉产品的事情。特斯拉并没有说什么叫“仿冒”,大家都是电动汽车,都是一个车四个轮子,如果想做到不仿冒特斯拉的产品,难度也很高啊。

自古免费多套路,想要使用领先技术,唯有自主创新并加强知识产权保护。

后附翻译,仅供参考。

欢迎分享和点赞,支持我继续更新下去,爱你们哦~~~记得对家人微笑!

 

A Closer Look At Tesla’s Open-Source Patent Pledge

Last Updated: December 7 2018

Nicholas Collura | Duane Morris LLP

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.

As quoted above, Tesla’s agreement not to sue a party for patent infringement extends only “for so long as such party is acting in good faith.”  The Pledge goes on to state that a party is acting in good faith as long as they have not:

  1. 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;
  2. challenged, helped others challenge, or had a financial stake in any challenge to any Tesla patent; or
  3. 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.

These conditions could have significant legal and business implications for a company using Tesla’s patented technology.

First, the Pledge states that those acting in good faith will not assert any patent or intellectual property right against Tesla.  Note that a company using Tesla’s patented technology is not only giving up the ability to bring an action against Tesla for patent infringement, but any form of intellectual property infringement.  This includes trademark and copyright infringement, as well as trade secret misappropriation.  Thus, for example, if Tesla copied a company’s source code line-for-line, that company would be required to forfeit the protection provided by the Pledge in order to enforce its rights.

Of potentially even greater consequence, the Pledge states that a company is not acting in good faith if it has asserted “any patent right against a third party for its use of technologies relating to electric vehicles or related equipment.”  Therefore, before using technology from a Tesla patent, a company must determine whether it is willing to agree not to assert its own patents against any company operating in the electric vehicle market anywhere in the world.  This may be a trade-off that a company is willing to make, but it is not a decision that should be taken lightly.  Among other implications, this decision may have a significant impact on the value that investors place on the company’s IP.  If competitors are able to use the patented technology of the company, it may be difficult to establish a competitive advantage in the marketplace.

The second restriction limits a company’s ability to challenge the validity of a Tesla patent.  This is similar to language found in many intellectual property license agreements.  However, there are a few things to note.  First, this restriction applies to any Tesla patent, not only the one that the company is using.  Second, the Pledge requires that the company not have any financial stake in a challenge to a Tesla patent.  The term “financial stake” could be quite far reaching.  For example, Tesla could argue that a supplier has a financial stake in its customer’s challenge of a Tesla patent.

Finally, the third restriction withholds the protection of the Pledge from those who market or sell a “knock-off” or provide material assistance to another party doing so.  The Pledge does not provide a definition of “knock-off product,” but it does provide one example: “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.”  Hence, a company using Tesla’s patented technology must be careful in its product design to ensure that Tesla cannot assert that it is selling a knock-off.

Tesla’s Patent Pledge presents companies in the electric vehicle field with a tremendous opportunity, but one that also carries some substantial risk.  Agreeing to abide by the Pledge could significantly curtail a company’s ability to protect, defend, and assert its own intellectual property.  A company should weigh these implications against the benefits of using the technology before deciding to take advantage of Tesla’s offer.  If the company does decide to use Tesla’s technology, it should put processes in place to ensure that it does not violate the conditions of the Pledge and, as a result, lose the protections that it provides.

 

翻译:

仔细研究特斯拉的开源专利承诺

2014年,Elon Musk 宣布他“开源”特斯拉的专利。他认为,这样做可以让电动汽车市场更快地增长。虽然马斯克的原始公告缺乏细节,但该公司已在其专利承诺中提供了有关特斯拉专利使用的更多信息。专利承诺与马斯克公告中的语言相呼应,称特斯拉“只要该方真诚行事,就不会对涉及电动汽车或相关设备的活动而侵犯特斯拉专利的任何一方提起诉讼。”

专利承诺为公司提供了使用特斯拉专利组合所涵盖技术的潜在途径。特斯拉是350多项美国发明和外观设计专利的专利权人,涉及从热管理系统到门把手的各种技术。但是,考虑是否使用特斯拉专利技术的公司应仔细审查承诺中的几个主要限制。

如上所述,特斯拉同意不起诉专利侵权的一方只是“只要这一方真诚地行事”。承诺继续指出,只要一方没有做以下事情,就是善意行事:

  1. 主张,帮助他人主张或从下述主张中获得经济利益,包括主张:(i)针对特斯拉的任何专利或其他知识产权或(ii)针对第三方使用与电动车辆或相关设备有关的技术的专利权;
  2. 无效,帮助其他人无效,或在任何特斯拉专利无效中获得经济利益; 要么
  3. 销售或销售任何仿冒产品(例如,通过模仿或复制特斯拉产品的设计或外观而产生的产品,或暗示与特斯拉有关联或认可的产品),或向另一方提供任何物质协助。

对于使用特斯拉专利技术的公司而言,这些条件可能会产生重大的法律和商业影响。

首先,承诺声明,善意行事的人不会对特斯拉主张任何专利或知识产权。请注意,使用特斯拉专利技术的公司不仅放弃了针对特斯拉提起诉讼的专利侵权行为,而且放弃了任何形式的知识产权侵权行为。这包括商标和版权侵权,以及商业秘密盗用。因此,例如,如果特斯拉逐行复制公司的源代码,那么该公司将被要求放弃质押提供的保护以强制执行其权利。

潜在的更大的后果,承诺指出,一个公司是不是在真诚地行事,如果它已经主张“ 任何专利权对抗第三方供其使用的有关电动汽车或相关设备的技术。” 因此,在使用特斯拉专利技术之前,公司必须确定是否愿意同意不对任何专利主张自己的专利,在公司运营电动车市场的世界任何地方。这可能是公司愿意做出的权衡,但这不是一个应该掉以轻心的决定。除其他影响外,这一决定可能会对投资者对公司知识产权的价值产生重大影响。如果竞争对手能够使用公司的专利技术,则可能难以在市场中建立竞争优势。

第二项限制则限制了公司挑战特斯拉专利有效性的能力。这与许多知识产权许可协议中的语言类似。但是,有一些事情需要注意。首先,此限制适用于任何特斯拉专利,而不仅仅是该公司正在使用的专利。其次,承诺要求公司在对特斯拉专利的质疑中没有任何经济利益。“经济利益”这个词可能相当广泛。例如,特斯拉可能会争辩说,供应商在其客户对特斯拉专利的挑战中拥有经济利益。

最后,第三项限制措施禁止对那些营销或出售“仿冒”或向另一方提供物质援助他们这么做的人提供保护承诺。承诺没有提供“仿冒产品”的定义,但它确实提供了一个例子:“通过模仿或复制特斯拉产品的设计或外观或暗示与特斯拉的关联或认可而产生的产品。” 因此,使用特斯拉专利技术的公司必须在产品设计上小心谨慎,以确保特斯拉不能声称它正在销售仿冒产品。

特斯拉的专利承诺为电动汽车领域的公司提供了巨大的机会,但也带来了巨大的风险。同意遵守承诺可能会大大削弱公司保护,捍卫和维护自己知识产权的能力。在决定利用特斯拉的优惠之前,公司应该权衡这些影响与使用该技术的好处。如果公司决定使用特斯拉的技术,它应该制定流程,以确保它不违反承诺的条件,并因此失去它提供的保护。

Source:Duane Morris LLP    Picture:Tesla

Each article is copyrighted to their original authors. The news is for informational purposes only and does not provide legal advice.

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