Back in 2012, hybrid vechicle technology company PaiceÂ filed a lawsuit against Hyundai and KiaÂ in federal court in Baltimore accusing the Korean automakers ofÂ infringing three of its patents.
The patents-in-suit were U.S. Patent Nos. 7,237,634, 7,104,347, and 7,559,388.Â Â All three patentsÂ are entitled â€œHybrid vehicles” and cover hybrid electric vehiclesÂ utilizing an internal combustion engine with series parallel electric motors, regenerative braking, and control circuitry.
The Paice technology is called the Hyperdrive System and provides seamless switching between power from an electric motor and an internal combustion engine.
Recently, a Maryland federal jury returned a big verdict for Paice, deciding that Hyundai and Kia owe $28.9 million in damages for patent infringement. Â The jury found that all of the asserted claims of the patents were valid and willfully infringed (see the report here on Autoblog and by Bloomberg news here).
The trial lasted eight days, but the jury needed just one day of deliberations to reach a verdict.
According to Paice’s press release, the $28.9 million sum represents a payment of $200 for each infringing hybrid vehicle sold by the defendants through June 30, 2015. Â The cars at issue were the Hyundai Sonata Hybrid and the Kia Optima Hybrid.
Paice has successfully enforced its patents before, most notably licensing its hybrid technology to Toyota, which signed a global licensing deal in 2010 covering all of Paice’s technology.
Hyundai and Kia are likely to appeal the decision.