U.S. International Trade Commission Will Investigate Paice's Lawsuit Against Volkswagen Over Hybrid Cars

May 19, 2016 12:14 PM EDT | Katherine De Guzman

The United States International Commission (ITC) launched an investigation over the lawsuit filed by Paice LLC, a Baltimore-based company. Paice claims that Volkswagen AG infringed their hybrid electric vehicle patents.

According to Reuters, the commission has not yet made a decision whether the lawsuit should move forward or not. However, since an investigation has been launched, it could cause another setback to Volkswagen as they have strategized to fear towards hybrid vehicles after the emissions scandal last year. Volkswagen admitted that they have equipped their vehicles with software that would cheat emission tests making their vehicle seem cleaner as opposed to how it really is.

Paice is seeking an ITC order that could block Volkswagen from importing and selling hybrid vehicles in the U.S. Market. Audi and Porsche are also being blocked by Paice, Auto Blog reported. The request was made last April 15.

SYS-CON reported that the Volkswagen Hybrid models included in the ITC order are VW Jetta Hybrid, Audi A3 e-tron Hybrid, Audi Q5 Hybrid, Porsche Cayenne S E-Hybrid, and Porsche Panamera S E-Hybrid.

Paice filed the same ITC complaint against Toyota Motor Corp. and in 20130, Paice struck a licensing deal with them covering 23 hybrid electrical control patents. Last year, Paice also had the same deal with Hyundai Motor Co. Ltd. And Kia Motor Corp.

Accordingly, Paice shared their patented hybrid technology from 2001 to 2004 including modeling and control algorithms. However, after Volkswagen allegedly learned about what they needed, the German automaker abruptly ended its collaboration with Paice. Paice said that Volkswagen also never licensed their technology.

Paice also claimed that after knowing about the hybrid technology, Volkswagen decided to pursue the
"clean diesel" vehicles. However, after the emissions scandal, Volkswagen now wants to venture into the hybrid technology as they are no longer allowed to market their diesel vehicles in the U.S.

A Volkswagen spokesman declined to comment citing ongoing legal disputes.

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