Paice has reached an agreement to license all of its hybrid vehicle technology to Hyundai Motor Co. and Kia Motors Corp. Paice has now licensed all or part of its hybrid vehicle technology portfolio to Toyota, Hyundai/Kia, and Ford. These three companies currently account for 90% of all hybrid vehicle sales in the United States.
The confidential licensing agreement with Hyundai and Kia brings an end to all litigation between the companies. Paice and the Abell Foundation, a Baltimore-based non-profit organization that invested in Paice, filed a patent infringement lawsuit against Hyundai and Kia in US District Court in 2012. After an eight-day jury trial earlier this year, the jury sided with Paice and Abell, awarding $28,915,600.
Hyundai and Kia currently rank third in US hybrid car sales. Last year, the automakers announced plans to triple the number of fuel-efficient cars they offer and aggressively grow its sales in the eco-friendly car market by 2020.
Dr. Alex Severinsky formed Paice in 1992 with the support of the University of Maryland incubator program. Paice secured its first US patent—the ‘970 patent—in 1994.
Following a year of development with Lockheed Martin, Paice unveiled a prototype of the Paice Hyperdrive technology in October 1999 at Roush Industries’ testing facilities in Michigan. In dynamometer tests of a prototype simulating a Cadillac DeVille, gas mileage improved from 24 miles per gallon with a V8 engine to 44 miles per gallon with a Paice hybrid electric design utilizing a 4-cylinder engine. All aspects of vehicle performance were maintained and emission levels were greatly reduced.
A 2010 study by Griffith Hack reviewed more than 50,000 hybrid patents and ranked four Paice patents among the 10 most important in the industry. Today, the company has 29 US and foreign patents related to hybrid vehicle technology.
Paice has previously licensed its hybrid technology to Toyota and Ford. Toyota secured a global license for all Paice technology in 2010. Ford signed a limited licensing agreement in 2010 that applied only to Paice’s first patent. When the companies were unable to reach a licensing agreement on subsequent patents, Paice filed a patent infringement lawsuit against Ford in 2014. That lawsuit has been stayed pending the resolution of inter partes review proceedings before the US Patent Office.