Just like Tesla Motors opened its EV patents for rival automakers, Toyota has announced it is making available thousands of hydrogen fuel cell patents for free to help develop and introduce the technology worldwide.
The announcement was made at the CES 2015, where Toyota said it 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. 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,” said Bob Carter, Senior Vice President of Automotive Operations at Toyota Motor Sales.
The announcement marks the first time that Toyota has made its patents available free of charge and shows the company’s strong support for hydrogen-powered vehicles.
The 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. The patents will also be available for companies working to develop and introduce fuel cell buses and industrial equipment, such as forklifts.
Toyota says patents related to fuel cell vehicles will be available for royalty-free licenses until the end of 2020, while patents for hydrogen production and supply will remain open for an unlimited duration.