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The name Paice will be familiar to anyone who's been deep in the weeds of hybrid history, but it will probably be new to anyone who simply drives one. The key part of the story is something called "HyperDrive," which is the name given to a gas-electric powertrain technology developed by Alex Severinsky and patented in 1994. HyperDrive is a way to get the energy from both the electric battery and the engine into the wheels, seamlessly. The patents are held by Paice, which is an unusual company (i

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With all the news coming out recently about the small claims lawsuit over the Honda Civic Hybrid, readers may have forgotten the name behind a long-running legal issue over Toyota's hybrid system: Paice. The latest development is that Paice and the Abell Foundation (an investor in Paice) have sued Hyundai and Kia over the gas-electric technology used in the Optima and Sonata hybrids (pictured), which shares some parts with Paice says infringes its patents, just as it says Toyota's Hybrid Synergy

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With all the news coming out recently about the small claims lawsuit over the Honda Civic Hybrid, readers may have forgotten the name behind a long-running legal issue over Toyota's hybrid system: Paice. The latest development is that Paice and the Abell Foundation (an investor in Paice) have sued Hyundai and Kia over the gas-electric technology used in the Optima and Sonata hybrids (pictured), which shares some parts with Paice says infringes its patents, just as it says Toyota's Hybrid Synergy

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Alex Severinsky is a Russian man who came to the United States in 1978. He graduated from Ukraine's Kharkiv University of Radioelectronics in 1967 before moving on to an Electrical Engineering Ph.D. from Moscow's Institute for Precision Measurements in Radioelectronics and Physics in 1975. That's the background. Here's the important bit.

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Alex Severinsky is a Russian man who came to the United States in 1978. He graduated from Ukraine's Kharkiv University of Radioelectronics in 1967 before moving on to an Electrical Engineering Ph.D. from Moscow's Institute for Precision Measurements in Radioelectronics and Physics in 1975. That's the background. Here's the important bit.

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

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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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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 Toyota Prius – Click above for high-res image gallery

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Toyota finally seems to be out of options now that the U.S. Supreme Court has allowed a lower court's ruling to stand which will award Paice LLC roughly $4.3 million in an hybrid technology lawsuit. That amount works out to $25 for every vehicle that Toyota has sold which uses the Hybrid Synergy Drive. According to the lawsuit, Toyota made use of a microprocessor which accepts torque information from the electric motor and internal combustion engine. Fortunately for Toyota, though, the ruling do

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