Hydrogen Bomb! Toyota Opens Its Fuel Cell Patents for Industry Use


The success of U.S. sales depends on a California program that aims to put in place 35 refueling centers in the Los Angeles area by 2015.

In a deft P.R. move that also has abundant self-interest, Toyota Motor Corporation will allow royalty-free use of 5,680 fuel-cell-related patent licenses, including pending applications, it holds globally. With fuel cell vehicle already on sale in Japan, the largest Japanese automaker is planning to bring an FCV – fuel cell vehicle – to the U.S. this year.

Toyota said it would allow royalty-free use of its FCV patent licenses by companies manufacturing and selling FCVs through market introduction period, anticipated to continue until about 2020.

This includes patents that in Toyota’s view are critical to the development and production of FCVs. Included are designs relating to fuel cell stacks (~1,970 patent licenses), high-pressure hydrogen tanks (~290 patent licenses), and fuel cell system control technology (~3,350 patent licenses).

Toyota will also provide royalty-free use of approximately 70 hydrogen-station-related patent licenses indefinitely for those installing and operating hydrogen stations.

About Ken Zino

Ken Zino is an auto industry veteran with global experience in print, broadcast and electronic media. He has auto testing, marketing, public relations and communications expertise garnered while working in Asia, Europe and the U.S.
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