MRO Magazine

U.S. International Trade Commission Votes to Investigate Patent Infringement by VW, Audi, Porsche

May 18, 2016
By Business Wire News


Paice, a pioneer in the development of hybrid vehicle technology, announced today that the U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC) has voted to institute a formal investigation of Volkswagen, Audi, and Porsche based on Paice’s complaint of infringement of Paice’s hybrid vehicle patents. An official evidentiary hearing will be held before an ITC Administrative Law Judge at a date to be determined.

The patent infringement complaint was filed with the ITC on April 15, 2016 by Paice and The Abell Foundation, a Baltimore-based charitable organization that invests in progressive start-up companies and is a co-owner of the Paice patents. The complaint seeks an exclusion order that would prohibit Volkswagen and its related companies from importing infringing hybrid vehicles, including the VW Jetta Hybrid, Audi A3 e-tron Hybrid, Audi Q5 Hybrid, Porsche Cayenne S E-Hybrid, and Porsche Panamera S E-Hybrid.

In its decision to move forward with the investigation, the ITC stated:

“Having considered the amended complaint, the U.S. International Trade Commission, on May 17, 2016, ORDERED THAT – (1) Pursuant to subsection (b) of section 337 of the Tariff Act of 1930, as amended, an investigation be instituted to determine whether there is a violation of subsection (a)(1)(B) of section 337 in the importation into the United States, the sale for importation, or the sale within the United States after importation of certain hybrid electric vehicles and components thereof by reason of infringement of one or more of claims 24, 25, 27, 28, 30, 32, and 41 of the ’347 patent; claims 33-44, 46, 50, 52-55, 91, 92, 94, 95, 97, 110, 112, 226, 227, 229-231, 239-241, 252, 253, 255-259, 265-267, 278, 279, 281-283, 285, 289-291 of the ’634 patent; and claims 21, 27, 30, 33, and 37 of the ’097 patent…”

“It’s clear that the ITC takes our claims seriously and believes a full investigation is warranted,” said Paice CEO Robert Oswald. “This investigation will prove that VW, Audi, and Porsche are using our patented hybrid vehicle technology without a license and should not allowed to import these vehicles into the United States.”

Paice currently has global licensing agreements with Toyota, Hyundai and Kia, and previously licensed portions of its technology to Ford. Paice has successfully won previous patent infringement lawsuits against Toyota, Hyundai and Kia and is currently involved in litigation against Ford.

THE PAICE/VW RELATIONSHIP: VW top management said it had “seen no other technology that offered as much promise as Paice,” hailed it as “the current go-to-market hybrid strategy”

  • From 2001 to 2004, Paice engineers spent more than 350 days in Wolfsburg, Germany sharing its patented hybrid technology with Volkswagen. Paice performed extensive modeling and provided VW all of Paice’s computer modeling and control algorithms.
  • A Paice report, shared with top management at VW, detailed how Paice’s patented Hyperdrive technology could prevent VW from paying hundreds of millions in future penalties by meeting U.S. emissions regulations.
  • VW top management met with Paice investors in Germany, assuring them that it was VW’s intention at this time to put the Paice Hyperdrive into production…” VW said it had “seen no other technology that offered as much promise as Paice,” and hailed it as “the current go-to-market hybrid strategy.”
  • VW abruptly ended its collaboration in 2004 and turned its attention to “clean diesels.” (VW later admitted to installing “defeat devices” on vehicles that did not meet U.S. emissions regulations.)

Now that the VW Group has been forced to stop selling its current diesel vehicle models in the U.S., it has recommitted to focusing a large part of its development on hybrid vehicles for the VW, Audi and Porsche brands.

About Paice

Paice is the creation of inventor Dr. Alex Severinsky, who founded the company in 1992 with the support of the University of Maryland incubator program. Led by an innovative and experienced team of automotive veterans, Paice made its mark in the hybrid industry by discovering new ways to maximize fuel efficiency and reduce harmful emissions without sacrificing driving performance.

Paice has been awarded 29 U.S. and foreign patents. An independent analysis of 58,000 hybrid vehicle patents found that Paice owns the most dominant hybrid vehicle patent in the world due to its fundamental importance in the development of hybrid vehicles. The study also found that Paice owns four of the top 10 most influential hybrid vehicle patents in the world – more than Toyota, Ford and Honda, combined. Learn more at

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Joyce Fitzpatrick, 919-247-4400