As if the recall woes of Toyota weren’t already worrying the executives, the Japanese automaker lost a bid to dismiss Paice LLC’s patent-infringement claim that may put a ban on imports of the company’s new Prius and Camry hybrid models.
A judge with the U.S. International Trade Commission in Washington by the name of Theodore Essex denied Toyota’s request to end the case by Paice, a Florida-based company. Essex said that Toyota has no argument that Paice’s patent is invalid.
A hearing is scheduled for July 19 to dispute the hearing.
“We are encouraged by the judge”s rulings and look forward to completing our case at the upcoming trial,” said Paice lawyer Ruffin Cordell of Fish & Richardson in Washington.
Toyota did not comment.
A federal judge in an earlier case rejected Paice’s request to stop sales of hybrid models from Toyota and ordered royalty payments on the Prius, Highlander Hybrid and Lexus RX400h.
– By: Omar Rana
Source: Automotive News (Subscription Required)