As part of efforts to popularise fuel cell vehicles (FCVs), Toyota Motor Corporation will allow royalty-free use of approximately 5,680 of the FCV-related patent licenses, including pending applications, it holds globally on an unconsolidated basis.
Toyota believes it is important to give priority to spurring more widespread use of FCVs at the initial introduction stage, and therefore believes concerted initiatives with energy companies that are looking to expand hydrogen station infrastructure, and automobile manufacturers that are looking to move forward with FCV development and market introduction, will be vital.
Toyota will allow royalty-free use of its FCV patent licenses by those manufacturing and selling FCVs through the initial market introduction period, which is anticipated to continue until about 2020. This initiative will include patents that are critical to the development and production of FCVs, such as those relating to fuel cell stacks (approx. 1,970 patent licenses), high-pressure hydrogen tanks (approx. 290 patent licenses), and fuel cell system control technology (approx. 3,350 patent licenses).
To facilitate more rapid expansion of hydrogen station networks, Toyota will also provide royalty-free use of approximately 70 hydrogen-station-related patent licenses indefinitely for those installing and operating hydrogen stations.
Toyota plans to make the royalty-free patent licenses available for use to companies and organizations that conclude contracts with Toyota based on negotiations with the company concerning specific usage plans, in line with standard patent license usage procedures.
Toyota has 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, Toyota is going one step further as it aims to promote the widespread use of FCVs and actively contribute to the realisation of a hydrogen-based society.