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Toyota loses patent appeal for technology in Prius

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http://www.autoblog.com/2008/05/12/toyota-...prius/#comments

Toyota lawyers arrived at the U.S. Supreme Court today and were denied an appeal to overturn a ruling originally upheld by a federal appeals court in Washington last year. The case involved a technology patent held by a company named Paice LLC, which contended that Toyota used the same microprocessor developed by the McLean, Virginia-based company on its hybrid vehicles that inputs torque information for both the gasoline-powered engine and the electric motor. The $4.3 million dollar award against Toyota will stand, and Toyota is required to pay royalties to the firm to the tune of $25 for every Prius, Highlander Hybrid and Lexus RX400h sold. Ouch. Sometimes the price of success is steep.
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Sad thing is that they have so much cash/profit on hand they probably won't even care.

Chris

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Sad thing is that they have so much cash/profit on hand they probably won't even care.

Chris

exactly. It's enough money that they fought it, but at worst they'll raise the price of the Prius $25. Whoopty doo.

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Scary thing is how many Prius they are selling. I checked the Carmax website the other day...and there was just ONE Prius available nationwide via Carmax.

The price of gas has done miracles for Toyota and the Prius.

Chris

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Scary thing is how many Prius they are selling. I checked the Carmax website the other day...and there was just ONE Prius available nationwide via Carmax.

The price of gas has done miracles for Toyota and the Prius.

Chris

Yup. Sad thing is, so many people whine that GM didn't do a similar car at or nearer the same time that Toyota did. What most don't realize is that whole thing where the Japanese gov't paid for Prius development. It wasn't much of a gamble for Toyota, where it could've been the difference between bankruptcy or better profits for GM. Had gas stayed cheap, a similar GM car may have never paid for itself, and even if GM had made one & sold it just as well as the Prius, I don't know if it would have paid off by now, simply because the high technology means low profit margin, but high development cost. Of course, we can "what if" all day long on this type of stuff.

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Yup. Sad thing is, so many people whine that GM didn't do a similar car at or nearer the same time that Toyota did. What most don't realize is that whole thing where the Japanese gov't paid for Prius development. It wasn't much of a gamble for Toyota, where it could've been the difference between bankruptcy or better profits for GM. Had gas stayed cheap, a similar GM car may have never paid for itself, and even if GM had made one & sold it just as well as the Prius, I don't know if it would have paid off by now, simply because the high technology means low profit margin, but high development cost. Of course, we can "what if" all day long on this type of stuff.

The Japanese gov't paid for the development, because they were aware of the coming gas prices. A GM product that would be similar would not be as successful because Wall Street and the whinny UAW/CAW would complain that "not enough" are produced, and the bean-counters in Detroit would pull the plug on it like they have with the EV-Plus!

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The Japanese gov't paid for the development, because they were aware of the coming gas prices. A GM product that would be similar would not be as successful because Wall Street and the whinny UAW/CAW would complain that "not enough" are produced, and the bean-counters in Detroit would pull the plug on it like they have with the EV-Plus!

Like, I am sure if Washington gave Ford and GM a couple billion dollars to develop alternate propulsion systems GM would say no thanks. Washington's attitude has always been 'sink or swim,' but Tokyo is well known to prop up and even subsidize industries, particularly as they are gaining toeholds on foreign soil.

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