Toyota Wins Appeal in Patent Infringement Case ~ Hybrid Car Review
Hybrid Car Review: Toyota Wins Appeal in Patent Infringement Case

Thursday, May 08, 2008

Toyota Wins Appeal in Patent Infringement Case

briefcase lockSolomon Technologies lost in the appeal of its patent infringement case against Toyota. The US Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit upheld an earlier decision by the International Trade Commission.

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.

Solomon Technologies Inc. has claimed their patented technology was being employed in the transmission drives employed in hybrid cars from Toyota. Their lawsuit was filed in 2006 and, if successful, would have blocked the importation of Toyota hybrid cars.

According to the Federal Circuit, Toyota motors "do not have an 'integral combination' of a motor element and a transmission unit' as required by the patent by Solomon Technologies."

Solomon Technologies Inc. has another suit filed in Tampa, Florida. That has been on hold while the International Trade Commission investigated the allegations.

The case is Solomon Technologies Inc. v. International Trade Commission, 2007-1391, U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit. The lower cases are Certain Combination Motor and Transmission Systems, 337-561, U.S. International Trade Commission; and Solomon Technologies Inc. v. Toyota Motor Corp., 05cv1702, U.S. District Court, Middle District of Florida (Tampa).

Update:
In response to losing the appeal Peter W. DeVecchis, President of Solomon commented, "Although we are disappointed in the Court's conclusion we will review it in detail. We have made no determination as to further steps we might take in this case. We remain as determined as ever to defend our intellectual property fully and completely."

Mr. DeVecchis continued, "While a favorable decision in this matter would have certainly been welcome, our underlying business is solid, our acquisition strategy is working and we expect to continue implementation of our plan during 2008. Although there has been considerable interest in this case over the last two years, it has never been, and is not now, an element of our operating plans or growth strategy. We are continuing to look at new opportunities for our intellectual property, are actively pursuing accretive acquisition targets and generating positive and growing operating results in our Power Electronics division. As we continue to execute on our operating plan, we believe now, more than ever, that the alternative and renewable energy segments offer substantial opportunities for our existing products and new products that we have in the pipeline."

Photo from flickr by Sies van Gijtenbeek.

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