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Japanese automaker Toyota is involved in a hybrid patent infringement case with Palo Alto, CA-based Efficient Drivetrains Inc. (EDI). Similar to the PAICE case, Toyota is being accused of using technologies that have been patented by another corporation. This time 'round, it's Efficient Drivetrains against Toyota.

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Toyota has, once again, failed to shake the long-looming hybrid patent infringement case brought forth by Paice LLC. In this latest development, a U.S. International Trade Commission judge dismissed Toyota's bid to end the lawsuit, continuing a trend. Toyota has long argued that the suit filed by Paice is invalid and should be dismissed, but the courts have routinely ruled otherwise. An earlier court ruling forced Toyota to pay royalties for several of its vehicles which encroach upon hybrid pat

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Mazda was granted a new U.S. patent this week for the design of an offset wheel-mounted motor for electric and hybrid vehicles. In previous wheel/hub motor configurations, the motor has typically been mounted concentric with the wheel. The essence of the patent is that the motor is offset from the wheel axis, with a gearset installed to provide drive torque to the hub.

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Mazda was granted a new U.S. patent this week for a design of an offset wheel-mounted motor for electric and hybrid vehicles. In previous wheel/hub motor configurations, the motor has typically been mounted concentric with the wheel. The essence of the patent is that the motor is offset from the wheel axis with a gear-set installed to provide drive torque to the hub.

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2010 Toyota Prius – Click above for high-res image gallery

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2010 Toyota Prius – Click above for high-res image gallery

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2010 Mercury Milan Hybrid - Click above for high-res image gallery

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2010 Mercury Milan Hybrid - Click above for high-res image gallery

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The first known hybrid was developed by the original Ferdinand Porsche back around the beginning of the twentieth century. The first U.S. hybrid patent, though, was granted to German-born inventor Henri Pieper around the same time, on March 2, 1909. The patent was awarded for something Pieper called "Mixed Drive for Autovehicles," and in his application, submitted in 1905, he wrote that:

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