Toyota Hybrid Synergy Drive system

Japanese automaker Toyota is involved in a hybrid patent infringement case with Palo Alto, CA-based Efficient Drivetrains Inc. (EDI). Similar to the PAICE case, Toyota is being accused of using technologies that have been patented by another corporation. This time 'round, it's Efficient Drivetrains against Toyota.

On July 20th, Toyota filed a complaint in San Jose, CA, seeking a court order to approve the use of the questioned technology in its hybrid vehicles, including the Prius and Lexus RX 400h. In part, the complaint filed by Toyota reads, "EDI has contended that the Toyota Hybrids infringe each of the asserted patents and has indicated it intends to enforce" them. Toyota denies any wrongdoing.

Efficient Drivetrains claims it holds an exclusive license from the University of California for use of patented technologies invented by EDI co-founder Andy Frank. Toyota contends it didn't infringe on the patents, and also claims the patents are invalid.


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[Source: Automotive News – sub. req.]