Beginning in the early 2000s, Paice taught BMW how its patented technology could maximize fuel efficiency and reduce emissions without sacrificing driving performance, the suit alleges. The company held in-person meetings and shared technical materials with BMW’s senior management and BMW engineers.
“BMW readily expressed interest in Paice’s technology because BMW was still pushing its diesel technology and was years behind other leading automakers that were actively pursuing hybrids,” the 31-page complaint states. BMW eventually dismissed Paice after learning what it could about Paice’s technology, the filing noted.
In 2005, BMW joined a hybrid system alliance with DaimlerChrysler and General Motors. Paice had several meetings with GM and DaimlerChrysler in the early 2000s and provided DaimlerChrysler its computer modeling and control algorithms. The alliance dissolved in 2009, with the automakers noting that the hybrid system was too expensive and had no future, the Paice suit said.
“The following year, BMW released its only vehicle with this costly system, the BMW X6 SUV, and shortly [after] pulled it from the market,” the complaint noted. “But within the next few years, BMW began employing Paice’s critical teachings, adding hybrid and plug-in hybrid models to its vehicle lineup with notable success.”