College Park, Maryland – Toyota has reached a settlement with a hybrid vehicle technology company that had sued it over patent disputes. The automaker agreed to licence all 23 of Paice’s domestic and foreign patents, the last of which expires in 2019.
The terms of the licences have remained confidential.
Paice sued Toyota in 2004, after Toyota introduced its second-generation Prius and, in a corporate report, said that the key to the car’s improvements was a decision to switch to a high-voltage system. In 2005, a federal judge in Texas ruled that Toyota’s system infringed on one of Paice’s patents, and an appellate court upheld the ruling in 2007. Toyota then appealed to the U.S. Supreme Court, which refused to review the case. Paice said the case was settled out of court on the day it planned to take the case to the International Trade Commission.
“I am pleased that Toyota and Paice came to an amicable resolution regarding our patents,” said Alex Severinksy, founder of Paice. “We 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.”
On July 8, Paice and Ford entered into an agreement for the licence of Paice’s 1994 hybrid vehicle patent, under confidential terms. Paice said it will continue to pursue licensing agreements with other automakers that use hybrid technology patented by the company.