What’s new in the war on patents? Three new companies have entered the ring - Hyundai and Kia are reportedly being sued by Paice LLC for infringing on three patents in regards to hybrid-engine technology.
Paice, standing for Power Assisted Internal Combustion Engines, is in possession of the world’s ten most dominant hybrid vehicle patents. Soviet founder Alex Severinsky first conceived the idea for a hybrid gas/electric car and received a patent covering the concept in 1994. His drivetrain development couldn’t have come at a better time – before Japanese car companies decided themselves to consider the hybrid concept seriously.
News has it that Hyundai and Kia aren’t the first to have to battle it out with Paice. After a grueling eight years of legal back-and-forth, Toyota finally settled their own patent dispute with the company in 2010.
Paice continues to uphold its licensing agreements with Toyota and Ford since then, including the ‘970 patent which is ranked as the second most dominant hybrid vehicle patent in the world. This specific patent is related to the pairing of an internal combustion engine with an electric motor.
Now the Hyundai Sonata Hybrid as well as the Kia Optima, both of which use the same powertrain technology, are up for legal dispute. Though the specifics have not yet been clarified by either company, the odds seem to be in Paice’s favor.
Though it may sound like the villain in recent news, the Paice company continues to successfully develop fuel efficient and cost-effective hybrid technologies. With the support of the Abell Foundation, a non-profit geared towards helping energy efficient missions, the Paice future looks bright.