Toyota has announced that they are inviting the royalty-free use of approximately 5,680 patents related to fuel cells. These include critical technologies developed for the new Toyota Mirai fuel cell vehicle. 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.
The announcement covers only fuel cell-related patents wholly owned by Toyota. 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.
This Toyota initiative builds on previous commitments, including substantial financial support for the development of a hydrogen fueling infrastructure in California and the northeastern United States. 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. Fuel cell vehicles include forklifts, buses, and vehicles other than cars.