Paice LLC (Paice stands for Power-Assisted Internal Combustion Engines) claims Toyota is infringing on its patent which covers the method by which to deliver torque from electric and internal combustion engines in the same application.
The recent developments follow an earlier decision by a U.S. federal judge that Toyota should pay royalty payments on second-generation Prius, Lexus RX400h and hybrid Highlander (Kluger) to Paice LLC.
Paice's latest legal actions against Toyota involve Camry hybrid, new Prius, Lexus RX450h and HS250. The presiding judge with the U.S. International Trade Commission in Washington dismissed Toyota's attempts to kill of the latest lawsuit. The case is expected to get a hearing starting July 19.
“We are encouraged by the judge’s rulings and look forward to completing our case at the upcoming trial,” Paice lawyer Ruffin Cordell told AutoNews.
At the moment Toyota is not reportedly paying any royalty payments (said to be USD $25 per vehicle) to Paice, instead the Japanese giant is challenging the rate in a U.S. court.
The case against Toyota may just be the tip of the iceberg as Paice has began similar patent-infringement claims against Ford's hybrid models (Fusion and Escape). Ford is set to argue the patent in court.
You can read Paice's side of the story here.