Associated Press | July 20, 2010
By Dan Strumpf
NEW YORK â€” Toyota Motor Corp. has settled a years-long dispute with a US company that had alleged the Japanese automaker used its technology in its hybrids without permission. The deal ends a squabble that had briefly threatened to block the Prius from being sold in the United States.
Toyota and Paice LLC said yesterday that they have settled their patent dispute and agreed to have all lawsuits between them dismissed. The terms were confidential, the companies said. No financial details were disclosed.
â€œAfter six years of litigation, we are pleased to reach a settlement with Toyota,â€™â€™ said Frances Keenan, chairman of the Paice board, in a prepared statement.
Paice, based in Bonita Springs, Fla., had contended that popular Toyota hybrids like the third-generation Prius and the Lexus HS 250h contain technology that violated Paiceâ€™s patents for hybrid engines.
Forbes.com | July 19, 2010
By Joann Muller
DETROIT – Toyota Motor, the leader in hybrid vehicles, has settled a patent-infringement dispute that had threatened to block the sale of the best-selling Prius and other Toyota hybrids.
The agreement with Paice LLC, a tiny Florida firm founded by Alex Severinsky, a 65-year-old Soviet refugee, came Monday just as a hearing was to begin on Paice’s claim against Toyota before the U.S. International Trade Commission in Washington.
Severinsky claimed Toyota had infringed his 1994 patent for a high-voltage, low-current hybrid system, which he said provided the ideal balance between performance and cost. (See “Toyota’s Other Legal Mess”)
In a press release, the companies said, “The parties agree that, although certain Toyota vehicles have been found to be equivalent to a Paice patent, Toyota invented, designed and developed the Prius and Toyota’s hybrid technology independent of any inventions of Dr. Severinsky and Paice as part of Toyota’s long history of innovation.”
Terms of the settlement weren’t disclosed, but Paice’s chairman, Frances M. Keenan, said Toyota had agreed to license all 23 of Paice’s patents, not just the one at issue in the ITC claim.
Bloomberg News | July 19, 2010
By Susan Decker
Toyota Motor Corp., the worldâ€™s biggest automaker, settled a patent-infringement dispute that threatened imports of its newest hybrid vehicles, including the Prius.
The agreement was announced today as a hearing was set to begin on a claim by Paice LLC, founded by Alex Severinsky, against Toyota before the U.S. International Trade Commission. Terms of the settlement werenâ€™t disclosed.
Severinsky, a Soviet emigrant who began his career developing antitank-warfare instrumentation, had said his patented system for a high-voltage system to power gas-electric hybrid cars was used by Toyota without permission. Severinsky, 65, spent years trying to get the automaker to pay royalties.
Toyota, which was found to have infringed the patent in an earlier case, had said its hybrid vehicles are the result of its own research and had asked the trade Commission to deny Severinskyâ€™s latest claims.
The ITC case is In the Matter of Hybrid Electric Vehicles, 337-688, U.S. International Trade Commission (Washington). The civil cases are Paice LLC v. Toyota Motor Corp., 04-cv-211; 07cv180 and 08-cv-261, U.S. District Court, Eastern District of Texas (Marshall).
Paice Press Release | July 19, 2010
WASHINGTON, DC (July 19, 2010) â€“ Toyota Motor and Paice LLC have entered into an agreement to settle the patent disputes between them. The terms of the agreement are confidential. All lawsuits between the companies will be dismissed.
â€œI am happy that Toyota and Paice came to an amicable resolution on the use of my power-assisted engine invention,â€ said Dr. Alex Severinsky, who founded Paice in 1992. â€œWe have long believed that hybrid vehicles represent the wave of the future for the auto industry and hope that consumers will continue to embrace hybrid vehicles as a meaningful way to reduce emissions.â€
The parties agree that, although certain Toyota vehicles have been found to be equivalent to a Paice patent, Toyota invented, designed and developed the Prius and Toyotaâ€™s hybrid technology independent of any inventions of Dr. Severinsky and Paice as part of Toyotaâ€™s long history of innovation.
â€œAfter six years of litigation, we are pleased to reach a settlement with Toyota,â€ said Frances Keenan, chairman of the Paice board of directors. â€œToyota has been a leader in the hybrid industry â€“ selling more hybrid vehicles than anyone in the world â€“ and we appreciate and applaud their achievements.â€
â€œPaice is committed to the ongoing development of hybrid technology and selected research activities,â€ added Robert Oswald, president and CEO of Paice. â€œWe will continue to pursue licensing agreements with other automakers which use hybrid technology patented by Paice.â€
Earlier this month, Paice reached an agreement with Ford for the license of its breakthrough 1994 hybrid vehicle patent (U.S. Patent 5,343, 970).
Paice News Release
July 15, 2010
On July 8, 2010, Paice LLC and Ford Motor Company entered into an agreement for the license of Paiceâ€™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, â€œWe are pleased to have reached an amicable resolution.â€ The terms of the license remain confidential.
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