ITM Power (AIM: ITM), the energy storage and clean fuel company, notes the announcement by Toyota Motor Corporation of royalty-free use of approximately 5,680 of its Fuel Cell Electric Vehicle (FCEV) related patents to accelerate the launch of fuel cell vehicles and the roll-out of hydrogen refuelling stations worldwide.
Toyota made the announcement at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas last night. During the presentation accompanying the announcement, Toyota said that, “We believe that Hydrogen-electric will be the primary fuel …for the next hundred years” before going on to affirm its support for the development of the associated hydrogen infrastructure with “…our commitment to do everything possible to kick-start the development of hydrogen re-fuelling infrastructure. Very simply we cannot have the car without the re-fuelling stations.”
By making these patents, including 70 patents for hydrogen refuelling stations, available to the industry, Toyota believes new fuel cell components and systems can be refined and improved to increase performance, reduce costs, and build a much larger market.
Dr Graham Cooley, CEO, ITM Power commented: “We are delighted that Toyota has taken this bold step to kick-start the market. This is the most significant news we have seen in the development of FCEVs and will be a major driving force for other OEMs to develop hydrogen vehicles and for governments worldwide to fund hydrogen refuelling infrastructure.”
The full text of the announcement appears below:
Toyota City, Japan, January 6, 2015 – 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 organisations 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 realization of a hydrogen-based society.
The above announcement was made at CES 2015 in Las Vegas. A transcript of the speech at CES by Toyota Motor Sales Senior Vice President Bob Carter is available at: http://pressroom.toyota.com/article_display.cfm?article_id=4911