Toyota has successfully stolen Tesla’s thunder by making all of its 5,680 patents relating to fuel cell technology royalty free. The patents will be available to automotive manufacturers and all related energy companies in an attempt to spark interest in the new tech.
Gone are the days when technology breakthroughs were carefully safeguarded behind a barricade of patents that would keep rivals from copying them. For tech companies (and seemingly vehicle manufacturers), it’s all about pushing for the propagation and adoption of innovative and novel technologies in the grand equation of making money and profits.
Toyota is following Tesla’s lead – Elon Musk’s innovative company freed its 200 technology patents relating to manufacturing electric vehicles (EVs), their battery packs and charging infrastructure technology earlier in June 2014. Toyota said yesterday it too would be making its fuel cell technology-related patents available royalty-free.
The Japanese automaker said that hydrogen production and supply patents will be available indefinitely, while any patents relating to fuel cell vehicle (FCV) technology will be available until 2020.
Senior vice president of Toyota Motor sales Bob Carter made the announcement at the 2015 Consumer Electronics Show on Monday. He said the freeing up of the fuel cell technology patents is meant to “speed the development of new technologies and move into the future of mobility more quickly, effectively and economically.”
Elon Musk said about releasing Tesla patents, “We believe that Tesla, other companies making electric cars, and the world would all benefit from a common, rapidly-evolving technology platform.”