Yesterday Elon Musk of Tesla Motors put up this blog post, in which he is apparently trying to say that as long as he's in charge, Telsa won't enforce any of its patents, because he wants to encourage others to develop sustainable transportation. (That reading of it seems to be consensus among tech business writers, such as Will Oremus at Slate.)
Inasmuch as none of the big automakers are trying to copy Tesla or even make a serious run at the non-hydrocarbon burning vehicle market, a point that Musk makes in his post, there seems to be little downside to taking this stance, and far be it for me to second guess his business strategy. As a lawyer, however, I ask myself if his promise is backed up by action. For example, by dedicating Tesla's patents to the public, something that can be done through the USPTO.