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Toyota taken to court

Toyota is being taken to court by Antonov Automotive Technology BV, the automotive technology company, in Dusseldorf over allegations of infringement of its patents in the driveline of the Toyota Prius and Lexus RX400h.

The case will receive its first hearing on Thursday. The action was originally filed on the April 12, but the first hearing date was postponed to allow more time for negotiations to seek a settlement.

In a statement released today Antonov said: "As the offer received is not satisfactory, no settlement has been reached and we will proceed with the case. We aim to establish the infringement and seek fair payment for the use of our intellectual property in all relevant vehicles sold to date and for those that will be sold through to the expiry of the patents."

Antonov CEO John Moore said: "Whilst we would have preferred to reach a mutually acceptable outcome with Toyota without recourse to the courts, I am confident in the strength of our case. The strategy of pursuing the initial case in Germany ensures we can obtain a binding legal opinion at a cost that does not impact on our ability to pursue our other strategic goals."

Antonov expects the Dusseldorf court to reach a conclusion within 12 months from the first hearing.

Toyota has filed a counter action challenging the validity of the Antonov patent in the Munich Patent Court. The first hearing date for this action has yet to be set.

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