Paice LLC filed a lawsuit yesterday, February 19, 2014, claiming the C-Max and other Ford Hybrids infringe its patents on electric and internal combustion engine optimization to increase fuel efficiency and reduce emissions without a loss of performance. Ford licensed one patent in a 2010 agreement. The companies agreed not to litigate over other patents until January 1, 2014 to give time for a settlement. Apparently, the companies couldn’t agree on a settlement. Ford, seeking to preempt the lawsuit, filed a complaint in December in the Delaware Chancery Court seeking a court ruling that Paice couldn’t file a complaint under the terms of their 2010 agreement. Paice has also sued Hyundai and Kia over the same patents.
A July 19, 2010, article in TechCrunch said, “Paice calls itself a ‘startup technology development’ firm. Because it doesn’t manufacture the technology it tests, patents and promotes, many have accused Paice of being ‘patent trolls.'”
An interesting article was published October 5, 2009 by HybridCars explaining the Toyota and Paice hybrid patent claims. The lawsuit filed by Paice against Ford may have some aspects in common.