Things aren't looking good for Toyota in a legal battle over whether or not the Japanese automaker has infringed on a Florida-based company's hybrid drivetrain patents. A U.S. International Trade Commission judge recently ruled to deny Toyota's request to end the lawsuit brought by Paice LLC. Toyota's initial argument was that the plaintiff's patent was invalid, but so far, the courts have sided with the smaller of the two companies time and time again. Earlier in the legal battle, a judge ruled that Toyota must pay Paice LLC a royalty for every Prius, Highlander Hybrid and Lexus RX400h model sold. Paice originally wanted Toyota to halt sales of those vehicles entirely.

In response, Toyota has begun the process of arguing against the royalty amount per vehicle, while Paice has filed a new complaint over the technology present in the third-generation Prius, Hybrid Camry, Lexus RX450h and HS250h.

Paice's base complaint is over how the manufacturer is supplying torque from both the electric motor and the internal combustion engine to the drive wheels on those vehicles at the same time. The company has also gone after Ford for the design of its Fusion Hybrid and Escape Hybrid models.

[Source: Bloomberg]