UPDATE: Toyota And Ford Reach Undisclosed Settlement With Paice Over Hybrid Technology

Edward Niedermeyer
by Edward Niedermeyer
update toyota and ford reach undisclosed settlement with paice over hybrid

On Friday Ford announced [via Automotive News [sub]] that it had reached an amicable resolution to a long-standing dispute over hybrid drivetrain technology with Paice, a company that claims to have invented technology crucial to the operation of hybrid powerplants. Ford uses the disputed technology in its Fusion Hybrid and Escape Hybrid vehicles, and it will likely pay royalties to Paice as a result of the settlement, although Ford refuses to give any details on the agreement. Toyota is also locked in a legal dispute with Paice, after a judge ordered Toyota to pay Paice royalties for hybrid models it sells in the US. Toyota continues to litigate an International Trade Commission complaint by Paice aimed at barring the sale of Toyota hybrids in the US. [UPDATE: Toyota has just announced [via BusinessWeek that it has settled with Paice as well, effectively bringing years of controversy to a close. Details of the settlement have not been made clear, but Paice’s Alex Severinsky says that this vindicates his long-standing claim to being the inventor of modern hybrid drivetrains.

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  • Psarhjinian Psarhjinian on Jul 19, 2010

    We've discussed this before. The gist of the matter is that Paice is a patent troll, though not quite as bad as, say, Acacia, and that Toyota's prior research into hybrid powertrains is actually cited in Severinky's own patents, so it's not like the idea sprang like a fully-formed Athena from his noggin. Had Paice brought suit against Toyota when the Prius landed in 1999 I'd be a little more favourable, but they waited years until Toyota was fully committed to the strategy before springing.

    • Canuck129 Canuck129 on Jul 19, 2010

      +1 These guys don't contribute anything worthwhile to society or the economy. Well, they are a lot richer and smarter than I. Unfortunately they increase costs on everybody. The price of doing business in the U S of A.

  • Z71_Silvy Z71_Silvy on Jul 19, 2010

    This is some fantastic karma for Ford...for being so stupid as to threaten lawsuits...against some of their biggest fans...for producing calenders that said 'Mustang' and used various logos.

    • Monty Monty on Jul 19, 2010

      What? It's payback to Ford, karma-wise, because of a calendar? So it's got nothing to do with Alex Severinsky and his patent-troll behaviour? What's Toyota's karmic crime for it's part in this?

  • Iamwho2k Iamwho2k on Jul 19, 2010

    @Monty Forget it. Z71's Pavlovian response to anything Ford is not worth fretting over.

  • Omoikane Omoikane on Jul 19, 2010

    The road is now open for the next move: assembling Prius in North America.It could be Indiana (in addition to the existing Sienna,Highlander and Sequoia). It could be the TESLA/former NUMMI plant (in addition to TESLA's and electric RAV4's).... Awaiting an official announcement sometime in the next 6 months...

    • Geozinger Geozinger on Jul 19, 2010

      @Omoikane: How does your post relate to the lawsuit, exactly?