TEXT OF STORY
Steve Chiotakis: Today, Toyota reported it sold more than two million hybrid cars worldwide since it first launched the Prius more than decade ago. But if a patent infringement case filed this week pans out, sales of Toyota’s latest suite of hybrids could be banned in its largest market. From the Marketplace Sustainability Desk, Sam Eaton reports.
Sam Eaton: U.S. hybrid technology company Paice claims Toyota’s new Prius, hybrid Camry and two Lexus models are using technology Paice invented. The Florida-based company already won a jury verdict against Toyota back in 2005 for patent infringement, and it argues that the technology used in Toyota’s new line of hybrids is the same.
On Thursday, Paice filed a patent infringement case with the U.S. International Trade Commission. The agency is set up to protect U.S. markets from unfair trade practices, patents included. If it rules in favor of Paice, the agency could decide to impose an import ban on the violating products. That process could take more than a year.
Toyota isn’t commenting, but industry experts say given Toyota’s huge market here in the U.S., a substantial fine is a more likely outcome.
In Los Angeles, I’m Sam Eaton for Marketplace.
We’re here to help you navigate this changed world and economy.
Our mission at Marketplace is to raise the economic intelligence of the country. It’s a tough task, but it’s never been more important.
In the past year, we’ve seen record unemployment, stimulus bills, and reddit users influencing the stock market. Marketplace helps you understand it all, will fact-based, approachable, and unbiased reporting.
Generous support from listeners and readers is what powers our nonprofit news—and your donation today will help provide this essential service. For just $5/month, you can sustain independent journalism that keeps you and thousands of others informed.