The CEO of Snow Bull Capital, Taylor Ogan, noticed something interesting this week in a Tesla patent filing. The patent filing, which is primarily about a different matter (“Improper seatbelt usage detection”), included swivel chairs in the front of a Tesla vehicle.

Before we jump in a little more, I think it’s worth spending a moment to put some context around patent filings. Below are a few key points to keep in mind.

First of all, the patent was granted by the US Patent and Trademark Office on January 12, 2021, but it was actually filed years ago (Dec 6, 2017).

Also, patents are frequently filed in order to allow the company to include something in their vehicles. The company files the patent on the idea before another company does so and then tries to block you from implementing the idea, or tries to charge you for doing so.

Nonetheless, it is interesting to see that Elon Musk and team have long thought about putting swivel chairs in the front of a vehicle.

There are other interesting things in there as well, like a steering wheel in the center of the car, and also seemingly on a structure that could slide from one side of the car to another.

Again, this is not to say Tesla will ever implement such a thing. It just reserves the right to do so. One commenter on Twitter also pointed out that it’s common to stick a bunch of different ideas in a single filing even if there’s no intention to mix them all together as drawn — just so that the company can protect more ideas from patent trolling.

Any other takeaways from this patent filing, or any other filings?


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