Toyota wins battle in patent lawsuit ~ Hybrid Car Review
Hybrid Car Review: Toyota wins battle in patent lawsuit

Thursday, February 15, 2007

Toyota wins battle in patent lawsuit

But, the war isn't over. Solomon Technologies, based in Florida, is suing Toyota for patent infringement. Solomon believes the hybrid transmission in the vehicles infringed its patent related to motor and transmission systems.

A Florida judge disagreed, siding with Toyota. But Solomon CEO Gary Brandt is threatening to pursue the lawsuit through the appeals process.

If Solomon Technologies had won their case, Toyota would have been prevented from importing the systems affected, including the cars they are in, i.e. the Prius and Highlander Hybrids.

My thoughts would be Toyota wouldn't let that happen and if the case had turned against them, they would have made a deal with Solomon.


Solomon also filed a patent infringement suit against Toyota in federal court in Florida in September 2005. That case was put on hold by the court pending the outcome of the International Trade Commission complaint.

Toyota is also involved in a lawsuit over patent infringement with Antonov which is open in Germany and in Japan.

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Mike said...

The patent Solomon claims to own is US Pat. 5,067,932, "Dual-input infinite-speed integral motor and transmission device". I mention "claims to own" because the USPTO registers who has the rights assigned to them, and no one does.


Unknown said...

Thanks for that info, Mike. I'm afraid patent law is beyond my ken.

Mike said...

Yes, patents are quite good for getting to sleep, but are otherwise drudgery. The gist of this patent is some trickery to put an electric motor in a transmission unit. It could get interesting since Honda also puts their electric motor into the transmission unit and they might've been next in line if things had gone well for Solomon.


Unknown said...

Which brings in Nissan, as well since the Altima is built on Toyotas Hybrid Synergy. This could get ugly for the whole hybrid marketplace if the ruling goes the other way on appeal.

Mike said...

I think Toyota will ultimately win - too many patents get overturned or greatly reduced in litigation - but it may get ugly in the process.

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