Hyundai Motor Co. and Kia Motors Corp. were named in a patent-infringement lawsuit filed by a company that had been embroiled in a years-long fight with Toyota Motor Corp. over hybrid-engine technology.
Closely held Paice LLC and Baltimore’s Abell Foundation, a non-profit that’s invested in Paice, filed the suit yesterday in federal court in Baltimore, accusing the Seoul-based automakers of infringing three patents.
The complaint targets Hyundai’s Sonata Hybrid and the Kia Optima Hybrid. Hyundai and Kia, which are affiliated and whose hybrid vehicles use the same powertrain technology, were aware of the patent litigation with Toyota. The litigation ended with a 2010 settlement reached after eight years of legal fighting, Paice said.