By David Ferris, E&E reporter
Tesla Motors Inc. seemed to take the high road when it announced last week that it would spur the development of electric cars by opening its patents to the competition. However, most auto-industry watchers said that it will probably do little to budge the auto industry off petroleum.
The swiping of some of those patents will serve to buttress Tesla’s role as industry leader, experts said. Some firms might help build out the overall charging network by using Tesla’s quick-charging tricks, while others will adopt battery specifications that could create future demand from Tesla’s “gigafactory.”
On the other hand, lowering its legal defenses gives Tesla little recourse if China figures out how to build key technology cheaper and floods the U.S. market, said Scott Kokka, a Silicon Valley patent attorney.
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