Thursday, March 24, 2016

Honda likely to Release FCV related Patents, following Toyota

On March 10, Honda announced the launch of their fuel cell vehicle (FCV) ”CLARITY”. Honda owns approximately 4,000 FCV related patents, and their executive officer of FCV development Toshihiro Mibe said that they are open to discuss the license of these patents with all auto manufactures, according to a media report.    

This statement must have been influenced by Toyotas announcement regarding the royalty-free license, that is a limited time offer until year 2020, of approximately 5,680 FCV related patents in January 2015, and also Teslas  patent release of their electric vehicle (EV) related 200 patents in June 2014.

Patent release is used to disseminate a particular technology and expand a particular market. Certainly, it helps to lower a barrier to enter the market. However, the market size and trends should be more important to decide if companies enter the market. Many companies may think it is too early to enter the market, when they see the sales forecast chart prepared by the government (See below). The infrastructure development is also important for the widespread use of EV and FCV. 80 charging stations for FCV will be installed in the country at the end of March, while more than 17,000 EV charging stations are available.

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