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Toyota patent share to speed hydrogen powertrain development

Toyota is set to make more than 5,000 patents related to fuel cell technology available to the automotive industry in a bid to speed up hydrogen powertrain development.

The global patents include those regarding fuel cell stacks, high pressure hydrogen tanks, fuel cell fuel cell system software control and hydrogen production and supply.

Bob Carter, senior vice president of automotive operations at Toyota Motor Sales, USA, said: "At Toyota, we believe that when good ideas are shared, great things can happen."

Carter said the first generation hydrogen fuel cell vehicles due to be launched between 2015 and 2020 will be critical, requiring a concerted effort and unconventional collaboration between automakers, government regulators, academia and energy providers. 

Toyota has a history of opening its intellectual properties through collaboration and previously licensed related patents for hybrid vehicles. But this is the first time that Toyota has made its patents available free of charge.

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.

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