Toyota Opens the Door and Invites the Industry to the Hydrogen Future
Betti Hornyak

More than 5,600 fuel cell and related patents available for royalty free use
Patents include industry leading fuel cell technology used in new Toyota Mirai

Toyota is opening the door to the hydrogen future, making available thousands of hydrogen fuel cell patents royalty free. Announced on January 5th at the 2015 Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, this Toyota initiative will spur development and introduction of innovative fuel cell technologies around the world.

Toyota will invite royalty-free use of approximately 5,680 fuel cell related patents held globally, including critical technologies developed for the new Toyota Mirai. The list includes approximately 1,970 patents related to fuel cell stacks, 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,” said Bob Carter, Senior Vice President of Automotive Operations at Toyota Motor Sales, USA Inc. “The first generation hydrogen fuel cell vehicles, launched between 2015 and 2020, will be critical, 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.”

 

 

 

 

Bob Carter, Senior Vice President – Automotive Operations, Toyota Motor Sales, U.S.A., Inc. says : “… Mr. Ford was correct. Gasoline has been the primary fuel for the first 100 years of the automobile.”

 

 

 

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.

Patents related to fuel cell vehicles will be available for royalty-free licenses until the end of 2020. Patents for hydrogen production and supply will remain open for an unlimited duration. As part of licensing agreements, Toyota will request, but will not require, that other companies share their fuel cell-related patents with Toyota for similar royalty-free use.

At Toyota we have always had an open policy regarding use of its intellectual property, allowing licensing of patents by third parties that pay appropriate usage fees. By allowing royalty-free use of FCV-related patent licenses, we are going one step further as it aims to promote the widespread use of FCVs and actively contribute to the realization of a hydrogen-based society.

We hope that our action will help foster a shared awareness that companies should collaborate rather than compete when it comes to popularizing socially significant technologies and products, which could also provide momentum to the popularization of FCVs.

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