Crash-Detection Patent Case Sent to Detroit

     TYLER, Texas (CN) - Patent claims against Toyota regarding a crash-notification technology belong in Michigan, a federal judge ruled.
     American Vehicular Sciences sued Toyota and several of its subsidiaries two years in Texas ago over the patents for "electronic sensors for automotive safety and telematics systems."
     In addition to the seven complaints filed simultaneously against Toyota, AVS filed five cases against BMW. It has since filed another 16 cases, all concerning the same patents, against Hyundai, Kia, Honda, Subaru and Mercedes.
     Though a federal judge in Eastern Texas refused later that year to grant Toyota a change of venue or to sever the claims against Gulf States Toyota, the Federal Circuit vacated and remanded that decision this past April.
     U.S. Magistrate Judge John Love reconsidered the matter on remand and decided on July 10 to sever and stay the claims against Gulf States, a Toyota dealership distributor. The claims against Toyota will proceed in the Eastern District of Michigan, according to the ruling.
     Love shot down the plaintiff's claim that Gulf States "acts as Toyota in Texas."
     "As a distributor, Gulf States has no part in the manufacture, research, development, or engineering of vehicles, nor the installation of any items that alter the accused structures or systems," Love wrote. "AVS has proffered no evidence or attempted to argue that Gulf States has any role in the design or manufacture of the accused products."