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Hyundai Kia Asked to Pay $28.9M in Patent Infringement Case

5 Octobre 2015 - Autoblog

2012 Hyundai Sonata Hybrid

After years of litigation, Hyundai and Kia have lost their hybrid technology patent infringement case against Paice LLC.

The jury ordered the South Korean automakers to pay $28.9 million, but according to Bloomberg, because the violation was allegedly intentional, the judge could triple that amount. The automakers have announced plans to appeal the ruling.

Paice's patent dates from 1994 on a piece of tech called the Hyperdrive, and it was a way to seamlessly switch between power from an electric motor and an internal combustion engine. This lawsuit was first filed in 2012 and covered the systems in the Hyundai Sonata Hybrid and Kia Optima Hybrid. According to Bloomberg, the companies tried to argue that the patent was no longer valid, but the strategy failed. "Hyundai strongly believes its position and will appeal any remaining adverse findings to the Federal Circuit," the company said in a statement to Autoblog.

Paice is certainly no stranger to litigating over the Hyperdrive patent, though. It and Toyota had a similar court battle that lasted years. Eventually, there was a settlement, and the result was Paice getting royalties for each hybrid that the Japanese automaker sold. Similarly, there's a lawsuit pending against Ford over tech in the C-Max, Fusion, and Lincoln MKZ.

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