Ford Finds Itself at the Wrong End of a Lawsuit

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A company in Baltimore that previously won a patent-infringement lawsuit against Toyota (NYSE:TM) is now coming after Ford (NYSE:F) for allegedly using its patented hybrid technology in its vehicles, Bloomberg reports. The company, Paice LLC, filed the suit on Wednesday.

At the center of the complaint, Paice asserts that the hybrid and plug-in versions of Ford’s C-Max, Fusion, and Lincoln MKZ vehicles are all in violation of its patents, which cover ways to control electric motors and internal combustion engines so they have increased fuel efficiency and reduced emissions without any loss of performance, Bloomberg said.

Ford, which licensed one of Paice’s patents in 2010, agreed not to go to court with Paice until January 1 under a mutual agreement. The idea was to allow some time to reach a broader settlement, but Paice derided the efforts as being “short and one-sided.”

“The truth is that Ford built its new hybrid system by relying heavily on the hybrid vehicle inventions it learned from Paice,” the company said in its complaint. Between 1999 and 2004, Alex Severinsky, Paice’s founder, and other Paice officers attended more than 100 meetings with Ford to work on a hybrid system for its cars.

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