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Toyota and Honda hit with patent infringement suits

IP collector Intellectual Ventures cites in-vehicle communications parts

Intellectual Ventures says Toyota is infringing on at least four of its patents as is Honda. (Source photos from a screenshot of Intellectual Ventures' website, Reuters and Yoichi Iwata)

TOKYO -- Toyota Motor and Honda Motor have been sued by a U.S.-based patent management company for alleged infringement on patents covering in-vehicle communications technologies, Nikkei has learned.

In rare lawsuits targeting automakers over the use of communications technology, Intellectual Ventures alleges that each automaker has infringed on more than 10 patents, including ones for short-distance communications. As more gadgets, appliances and vehicles connect to the internet, the risk is increasing that other companies will get pulled into similar proceedings.

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