‘Royalty-Free Use of Approximately 5,680 Fuel Cell Related Patents’
Toyota says that it’s “opening the door to the hydrogen future” – making available thousands of hydrogen fuel cell patents royalty-free. “This Toyota initiative will spur development and introduction of innovative fuel cell technologies around the world,” the automaker said this week at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas.
Toyota pledged to invite royalty-free use of approximately 5,680 fuel cell related patents, including technologies developed for the Toyota Mirai fuel cell car, which goes on sale this year.
The global list includes approximately 1,970 patents related to fuel cell stacks, Toyota says, plus 290 associated with high-pressure hydrogen tanks, 3,350 related to fuel cell system software control, and 70 patents related to hydrogen production and supply.
“At Toyota, we believe that when good ideas are shared, great things can happen,” Toyota Motor Sales senior VP Bob Carter said in a release.
“The first generation hydrogen fuel cell vehicles, launched between 2015 and 2020, will be critical,” he said, “requiring a concerted effort and unconventional collaboration between automakers, government regulators, academia and energy providers.
“By eliminating traditional corporate boundaries, we can speed the development of new technologies and move into the future of mobility more quickly, effectively and economically.”
‘Aggressive Support for a Hydrogen-Based Society’
Toyota says that its intellectual property policy “was instrumental in facilitating the widespread adoption of hybrid vehicles” via patent licensing. Going further, the hydrogen fuel cell announcement at CES “represents the first time that Toyota has made its patents available free of charge and reflects the company’s aggressive support for developing a hydrogen-based society.”
Toyota notes that it announced a $7.3 million loan to FirstElement Fuels to support the operations and maintenance of 19 hydrogen fueling stations in California in May 2104 (F&F, May 2) and that in November, it announced a collaboration with Air Liquide to develop and supply a phased network of 12 state-of-the-art hydrogen stations for the U.S. northeast (F&F, November 17).
“The hydrogen fuel cell patents will be made available to automakers who will produce and sell fuel cell vehicles, as well as to fuel cell parts suppliers and energy companies who establish and operate fueling stations, through the initial market introduction period, anticipated to last until 2020,” Toyota says, adding that companies working to develop and introduce fuel cell buses and industrial equipment, such as forklifts, are also covered.
Requests from outside of the transportation sector will be evaluated on a case-by-case basis.
Contact information is only available to premium subscribers. Click here to purchase a subscription.
Source: Toyota with Fleets & Fuels follow-up