Saturday, July 24, 2010

Suit against Toyota settled

Toyota lawsuit settled for patent infringement

The Toyota patent infringement lawsuit has been settled after being threatened by the U.S. to have a block put on imports. A patent filed in 1994 that covered a “high voltage method to power gas-electric hybrid cars” was at issue. Toyota has agreed to license the technology from the Paice business.

Information on the patent

The patent involves two motors giving torque to wheels. Originally developed by Alex Severinsky, who founded Paice, this patent was granted in 1994. Low current is used in hybrid vehicles with high voltage.

Arguments settled

The International Trade Commission was the only reason Toyota had a case in this issue. Imports will always go out unless there is a “health or public policy issue” in which case, the ITC can’t do anything. Toyota was arguing that blocking Toyota imports would have created hundreds of millions of dollars of lost economic activity and many job losses.

Settling the suit

For six years Toyota has been in this suit against Paice. Both Paice and Toyota agree that the technology used in the Toyota automobiles is “equivalent to the Paice patent.” The invention, design and developing the technology is argued, by Toyota, to be a task of its own. If the litigation had not been settled in both Texas and U.S. appeals court, Toyota may have been blocked from importing hybrids to the United States. Neither side has revealed information of the settlement.

Ford and Paice work together

Paice was licensed by Ford to help with electric and hybrid cars. This licensing agreement doesn’t affect Toyota or the lawsuit settlement, though it does give Ford tested technology for its hybrid vehicles. Paice patented technology can be used in the Fusion hybrid car, as well as others.

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