Hybrid technology is really getting its day in court. A former General Motors worker and her husband have been accused of stealing (and trying to sell to a Chinese competitor) $40 million in trade secrets related to the automaker’s hybrid vehicles. On Thursday, a federal court in Detroit unsealed an indictment of the couple on seven charges including conspiracy and fraud.
This comes on the heels of two other longstanding legal battles over hybrid technology finally coming to a close, with Ford and Toyota each reaching settlement agreements this month in patent disputes with a company called Paice LLC. All of these cases come at a time when automakers are jockeying to carve out a piece of the nascent green car segment, not least of all in China’s fast-growing auto market.