Hyundai Motor and affiliate Kia Motors have been fined US$28.9m by a US court for patent infringements related to hybrid engine technology. The complaint was made by Paice LLC, a Baltimore-based technology company established in 1992 by Russian native Alexander Severinsky.

The company developed a hybrid car prototype which was proposed to a number of carmakers at the time, including Hyundai and Kia. The infringement relates to the technology which controls the electric motor and the gasoline engine, allowing for improved fuel efficiency and lower emissions.

The court ruled that Hyundai-Kia’s infringement was intentional, rejecting the automaker’s argument that Paice’s patents were not valid.