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Toyota 'to allow royalty-free use of patents'

Toyota is reportedly planning to let other companies use its hybrid patents royalty-free.

The company has led the way with the development of gasoline-electric hybrid vehicles, and a big reason for that has been the robust patent collection for the technologies behind its Hybrid-Synergy Drive.

According to Nikkei Asian Review, Toyota - after years of defending and acquiring the patents - is planning to open many of them for use by other firms in a possible bid to keep hybrids relevant alongside the rise in popularity for electric cars.

While it's said the exact type of patents set to be made available is still yet to be determined - along with how many - it will be interesting to see how many car manufacturers do take up the offer.

Although Toyota is still working hard on its hybrid vehicles - and hydrogen fuel-cell vehicles - it hasn't competed with the likes of General Motors, Tesla and Nissan when it comes to building a production battery-electric car.

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