Paice, a developer of hybrid vehicle technology, announced that the U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC) has instituted a formal investigation into patent infringement claims against Ford Motor Co.
Paice and the Abell Foundation filed a complaint in February 2017 asking the ITC to prohibit Ford from importing hybrid vehicles it manufactures abroad.
If Paice prevails, all imports of Ford’s hybrid cars, including the Fusion and Lincoln MKZ models built in the Hermosillo plant, would be banned from entering the United States.
Both companies initiated a four-year relationship in 1999. In the end, Ford declined to take a license from Paice. After years of trying to negotiate a licensing agreement with Ford, Paice filed a patent infringement lawsuit against Ford in U.S. District Court in 2014.
Paice claims Ford needs a license to continue using its patented hybrid technology, turning to the ITC to hold the automaker accountable.
Ford has declined to comment on the issue.