• Jul 20, 2010
2010 Toyota Prius – Click above for high-res image gallery

Following on the heels of our earlier report about yesterday's scheduled hearing between Toyota and Alex Severinsky at the International Trade Commission came word that the parties have settled. Neither side has released any details about the agreement – and they probably won't. Toyota had previously been found guilty of infringing upon Severinsky's patent, which centers around getting power to a vehicle's wheels with a gasoline-electric vehicle using both high- and low current.

In all likelihood, Toyota agreed to pay royalties to PAICE (Severinsky's company) for all of the hybrids it has sold and will sell in the United States until the patent expires in 2012. This means that the threat of a ban on imports of Toyota hybrids has been lifted – at least until the next case.

In related news, Ford has also settled with PAICE over hybrid patent issues. The details are confidential, but there's a bit more information after the jump.

[Sources: Bloomberg, PAICE]

PRESS RELEASE

Paice and Ford Reach Settlement in Hybrid Vehicle Patent Infringement Disputes

BONITA SPRINGS, Fla., July 16 /PRNewswire/ -- On July 8, 2010, Paice LLC and Ford Motor Company entered into an agreement for the license of Paice's U.S. Patent No. 5,343,970. Each company had filed a lawsuit against the other relating to that patent relating to certain Ford hybrid vehicles.

Based on this agreement, the lawsuits will be promptly dismissed, bringing an end to all patent infringement litigation between the two companies.

In a joint statement, executives from both companies jointly announced, "We are pleased to have reached an amicable resolution." The terms of the license remain confidential.

About Paice

Paice LLC is a U.S. technology company formed in 1992 to develop hybrid vehicle technology that promotes lower emissions, superior driving performance and fuel efficient operation of internal combustion engines. Through its inventive endeavors, Paice has obtained 11 U.S. patents related to hybrid vehicle technology, including a breakthrough patent (the '970 patent) that describes the use of high voltage in a hybrid automobile. Paice has demonstrated that using voltage as high as 500 volts or more is essential to achieving real efficiency in hybrid automobiles. A 2009 study ranked Paice's hybrid patents as the most dominant in the world. Paice has been involved in ongoing litigation with Toyota and federal courts have ruled that the Toyota Prius and other hybrids are infringing on Paice's patented technology
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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 18 Comments
      • 4 Years Ago
      One thing i do admire about the American culture and that is they have ALWAYS been brutally honest without lie or fault towards thier allys about the REAL reason of another invasion. I have growned to trust the American culture, Government and corporates alike whole heartedly without any reservation in the slighest.
      • 4 Years Ago
      The most trust worthy car company in the world without any doubt is GM ... they have NEVER told a story regardless of topic that hasn't been wholly & solely the absolute truth.

      Unless it is the American Government, an American Law Enforcement Agency, an American company or citizen ... trust no other - not even god.
        • 4 Years Ago
        GM has brought more new and innovative improvements to the marketplace than any other manufacturer by far, Ford is second and Toyota is not even in the race. ........and yes Toyota is known for making slight changes to others ideas and claiming them as their own. It's no ones fault but Toyota's they've become known as the deceitful leaches they are.
      • 4 Years Ago
      No matter how genious (or ingenious) is an issued patent, if you ignore it, there will be a price to pay.
      • 4 Years Ago
      Interesting.... so Paice wasn't just a patent troll, eh?

      I wonder if this is gonna hurt Ford/Toyota. Hopefully the royalties aren't so high that they make hybrids *even more expensive*.
        • 4 Years Ago
        This doesn't mean they aren't a troll. Look at the case with RIM. American Patent law is so messed up and legal costs are so high that in most cases it is cheaper for these companies to quietly settle with the patent trolls.
        • 4 Years Ago
        I invented the Strobe Drive which is worth billions & makes that box look like junk.
        You can have it for free.....Alfred-
        • 4 Years Ago
        Winning or not winning a lawsuit isn't what makes you a patent troll or not. It's whether you've actually attempted to bring a product to the marketplace, etc. If you just come up with some idea then patent it but never manage to get it to work right it's a bit ridiculous that you can basically then just sit around and wait until someone else eventually comes up with the same idea but gets it right then basically sue them into oblivion.
        • 4 Years Ago
        Ahh yes we can all safely believe some rumor that has no confirmed source.

      • 4 Years Ago
      Not that patent law or intellectual property has any real merit, but it's fun to see the monopolist thugs get a taste of their own medicine once in a while. Quite a web they've weaved for themselves.
      • 4 Years Ago
      A Japanese company stealing intellectual property from an American company? Like that never happens. Great work, Severinsky/Paice, it is rewarding to see the small guy stick to his guns and get his due credit.
        • 4 Years Ago
        In the 35 yrs of my life i have never witnessed a single American company ever copy a single component of any sort .... pfffttt !!

        GM, Ford and Chrysler have forever been squeeky clean in all manners of business, technology and development ... haaaaaa !!

        Oh yeah, and ... their cars have always been impeccably engineered of the absolute highest standards.

        Pigs also fly ...
        • 4 Years Ago
        Asia has never been known to be an incubator of ideas in the modern age. This is particularly true of the Japanese. All they do is copy. Originality and innovation are frowned upon. Their education is almost entirely rote and the hardest part of matriculating at a Japanese university is to pass their entrance exam; it is the mental equivalent of bulimia. It is no wonder that their brightest students go abroad, as they have historically looked to the West for innovation. Their neighbors can vouch for the fact that even their culture, religion and language are merely heavily derived from earlier Korean and Chinese cultures.
      • 4 Years Ago
      After all those many years of General Motors publically critising Toyota for investing into hybrid technology and then all of a sudden promote thier own advances in the very same technology they so heavily critised for so long, i knew all along GM was just stringing us along having a light hearted joke.

      When GM needed just a little bit of money to help then out just a little wee bit - they were only trying be funny guys when they asked some other nations throughout the world to help out such as Germany (Opel), Australia (Holden) and Canada just to name a few.

      I mean, because everything American is so well balanced and guided with absolute discipline - the rest of the world knew GM (America Government) were only having a joke with us all.

      And you know what i truely love about America, every American owned corporate throughout the world wether it be Fast Food, Cars, Cloths etc means no money NEVER goes back to Corporate America but instead wholley & soley stays aboard to help out the global community because America is nothing more then one big, loving heart ... pffft !!

        • 4 Years Ago
        Glad you got that off your chest?
      • 4 Years Ago
      Get lost you clown.
      • 4 Years Ago
      Paice offered this technology to Toyota, that is how they knew about it. He offered to sell it and Toyota decided they could get it wholesale, which they did, wholesale thievery. I believe Ford bought it from Toyota, that might not be correct but I read that somewhere. In the late eighties an executive left GM for Volkswagen and carried all kinds of guarded secrets with him(one of the reasons Volkswagen hired him).....GM sued, I don't recall the outcome, anyone remember?
      • 4 Years Ago
      Electronics and whitegoods ... by all means, American products all the way because Panasonic, Sony, LG, Sharp etc are just crap. I agree ... when it comes to quality - American products are leaps and bounds ahead of the rest of the world.

      Despite some of the largest and so-called wealthiest American companies in the world ... thier impeccable corporate demeanor / competancy means the rest of the world has NEVER witness the fall or bankruptcy of any major American company in the history of the US.

      Off the top of my head, i carn't think of a single American Airline, Car Company or Financial / Insurance firm that has ever FAILED. They have all been superb because they are American.

      I have never known of a single American serviceman to die in battle because of thier impeccable training and discipline and of course the American culture has ALWAYS won over the rest of the world because of thier amazing understanding and respect of other cultures.

      And when it comes to environmental awareness ... America just shines above and beyond the rest of the world. Not even New Zealand's Environmental Policy has a chance against that of the awesome US.

      American Motorsport .. NASCAR is so technologically advanced it bewilders me how F1 even justifies itself.

      And the most impressive of all - how clean & tidy American cities are with the lowest crime rate and anti-racism discipline of any country in exsistance.

      I have never known a American warship or fighter plane to have accidentally blown apart and killed hundreds of innocent civilians.

      I love America ... they are SO GREAT. !!
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