Toyota Patent Infringement Continues ~ Hybrid Car Review
Hybrid Car Review: Toyota Patent Infringement Continues

Friday, June 01, 2007

Toyota Patent Infringement Continues

Solomon Technologies announced they will appeal the decision made by the United States International Trade Commission (ITC). Solomon Technologies is suing for patent infringement on their technology which they claim is being used in Hybrid Synergy Drive from Toyota.

They decision went against them back in April that Toyota had not been in violation. Solomon has decided to appeal that decision to the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit.

If Solomon were to win their appeal, the ruling could affect all the Prius and Highlander Hybrid vehicles. The motor and transmission would be banned from being imported into the U.S.

Since there is a lot of legalese in it that I couldn't interpret, the Press Release from Solomon Technologies follows:

TARPON SPRINGS, Fla., June 1 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Solomon Technologies, Inc. (OTC Bulletin Board: SOLM) announced today that it will appeal the final determination of the United States International Trade Commission (ITC) regarding Solomon's claim of patent infringement against Toyota Motor Corporation, and certain of its affiliates, to the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit (CAFC) in Washington, DC. The Commission ruled, on April 30, 2007, that there was no violation of Section 337 of the Tariff Act of 1930, as amended.

"We were clearly surprised by the initial determination by the Administrative Law Judge (ALJ) and, after careful consideration, we have concluded that there were serious errors made in interpreting the pertinent patent law and precedents in this case leaving us no option but to appeal the case to a court with particular expertise in this field." said Gary G. Brandt, Chief Executive Officer of Solomon. "The CAFC is the primary court in the United States which hears appeals of patent cases from the lower district courts or from the ITC. We strongly believe that a proper interpretation of the law, and precedents of the Appeals Court, will result in a reversal of the most critical aspects of the ALJ's decision."

Mr. Brandt continued, "As those who have followed this case closely know, we determined some time ago that the ITC venue would provide a more streamlined path to resolving this matter. Because the ITC is not a judicial court, however, its findings are not binding on any other courts to which Solomon might bring the case in the future. We believe that the CAFC is the appropriate forum by which to establish the proper interpretation of our patent claims and to provide us with future options to pursue full and fair remedies at either the ITC or the Federal Court in Florida."

As previously announced Solomon brought suit against Toyota Motor Corporation, Toyota Motor Sales U.S.A. Inc. and Toyota Motor Manufacturing North America in the United States District Court for the Middle District of Florida, Tampa Division, on September 12, 2005, claiming infringement of Solomon's U.S. Patent Number 5,067,932, primarily relating to Toyota's use of the Hybrid Synergy Drive technology in its Prius and Highlander Hybrid vehicles. On January 11, 2006, Solomon filed an additional complaint against Toyota with the ITC seeking to exclude importation of the infringing technology. The action against Toyota and its affiliates in the United States District Court for the Middle District of Florida, Tampa Division, has been stayed pending resolution of the ITC action.

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