Japan’s largest steel maker Nippon Steel said it had dropped a lawsuit against Toyota Motor alleging the automaker’s electric motors infringed on its technology patents, saying infighting among Japanese companies was not in the best interest of the country’s competitiveness.

In October 2021, Nippon Steel filed a patent infringement lawsuit against Toyota and China’s Baoshan Iron & Steel (BaoSteel) with a Tokyo district court alleging the two companies had infringed on its patents on non oriented magnetic steel sheets used in electric vehicles. It was seeking JPY20bn (US$134m) in damages from each company.

Toyota said at the time in a statement the suit was “very regrettable” and that it had found no patent infringement issues before it signed a supply deal with the steel maker.

Tokyo based Nippon Steel is a major supplier of steel products to the Toyota Motor group and sees a strong partnership between the two companies as critical in maintaining a competitive automotive industry in the country, particularly in a period of uncertainty and rapid change such as the switch to zero emission vehicles.

The company said it was still suing Baosteel for its use of patented steel for its electric motors, however.

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By GlobalData