Judge denies Toyota’s bid to end patent dispute over hybrid technology

2010 Toyota Prius

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)