Many are wondering what the automaker has in mind after it was revealed that Toyota is granting free IP access to its fuel cell technology. 5,600 intellectual property patents are now available to for browsing by rivals who are also developing fuel cell technology, such as Honda and General Motors.
Giving away company secrets might seem like a bad idea, but Toyota’s fuel cell patent sharing is meant to improve the company’s future business prospects. By lending a hand to rivals, hydrogen production technology should develop quicker and create a better infrastructure quicker.
“By eliminating traditional corporate boundaries, we can speed the development of new technologies and move into the future of mobility more quickly, effectively and economically,” said Bob Carter, Toyota’s senior vice president of North American automotive operations.
Patented designs will be available from Toyota free-of-charge for five years, along with a request for “reciprocal privileges” to companies who gain access to the patents.
Toyota knows it has a strong product in the Mirai, which was released in November, but it needs the infrastructure to make the product a national success. We at Muller Toyota think this is a clever way to do it!