Solomon Technologies Appeals ITC Ruling on Synergy Drive Patent

Robert Farago
by Robert Farago
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solomon technologies appeals itc ruling on synergy drive patent

The International Trade Commission has ruled that Toyota did not pilfer key technology from Solomon Technologies to create the Synergy Drive system used in ToMoCo's hybrids. Solomon CEO Gary G. Brandt is undaunted. "We believe the ITC made serious errors in interpreting the pertinent patent law and precedents in this case and as we have reviewed the case transcripts more fully we are even more convinced that we will eventually prevail." Speaking to TTAC [below] Brandt says his company had "numerous documented meetings" with Toyota prior to the release of the Japanese automaker's hybrid system. What's more, since the Prius was released, Toyota has licensed [what Brandt claims to be] Solomon technology to Ford. The legal action continues. Meanwhile, Solomon has posted an animation on their website highlighting the similarities between the two systems.

Robert Farago
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4 of 7 comments
  • GS650G GS650G on Sep 27, 2007

    Toyota might countersue Solomon. There are patent squatters who attempt to patent such things as sharp pencils, watertight buckets, and perpetual motion machines all the time, most of the time they are looking for a settlement and nothing more. Solomon does not appear to be squatting as they really do sell what they claim, but it does raise an issue. Will Solomon ask for a royalty on all the hybrid cars ever made that use this technology? What would a fee structure do to the growing market for hybrids?

  • VLAD VLAD on Sep 27, 2007

    Looks like Salomon lawyers are a lot more creative then their engineers.

  • LarryX2 LarryX2 on Oct 25, 2007

    This man invented this product and had a working model for sale in 1992. They sent the Plans for the product to Toyota and other automobile manufacturers as a licensing proposal. And toyota "redesigned" it? and then Licensed the electric wheel to Ford? I can't believe any of you that commented on this could see it any other way. They stole his Idea and now they are profiting from that by licensing to others the same way solomon Tech was doing. Why doesn't Ford, chrysler, Volkswagon, and GM just "redesign" it again and stop licensing it from Toyota? Because Toyota would through 50 million dollars worth of lawyers at them in ITC Lawsuits. This really sucks for the independant inventor, If your Patent doesn't protect your Concept, Prototype, or Product what is it for? Toyota didn't beat them to market, They found what they needed on the market and stole it. BTW: When I say "Redesign" I mean change the color and location of some bolts and brackets. Because these things look the same.

  • Gear Gear on Sep 08, 2009

    I know a man in Australia who patented a device that is exactly what the power split device is. His patent attorney had a "conflict of interest" at exactly the time that toyotas prius adopted the PSD instead of the cone and belt cvt that was in the concept version. Maybe Solm tech should eat some humble pie and help pursue this instead, rather then try milking a dead cow. Then toyota would be throwing money at them to keep it a secret. Toyota kept looking after they approached Solm tech.. and they found something else.