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Toyota Leads All Automakers in 2012 U.S. Patents Issued

Two Toyota Michigan Engineers Each Earn Their 20th Patents

ANN ARBOR, Mich., July 5, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- The United States Patent and Trademark Office issued more patents to Toyota's innovative designers and engineers in 2012 than to any other automaker, according to a recently-released survey by the Intellectual Property Owners Association (IPO).  The 1,491 patents issued to Toyota companies demonstrate Toyota's commitment to ever better cars that achieve new environmental, safety and technological advancements.

"Since the days of Toyota's founding, innovation has been a cornerstone of Toyota's success," said Kristin Tabar, vice president, electrical systems engineering, Toyota Technical Center (TTC), a division of Toyota Engineering and Manufacturing, Inc. (TEMA).  "We're driven to listen to our customers and develop new ways to improve their experience."

Toyota companies received thirty percent more patents in 2012 than the previous year, illustrating the company's increasing success in fostering ingenuity and keeping a keen focus on the customer. 

Whether it's creating "smart materials" that can help cars resist insect splatter or improving vehicle communication systems, Toyota leads the way in anticipating and engineering the cars of tomorrow for today.

The Toyota Technical Center, located in Ann Arbor and Saline, Michigan, recently held their annual patent awards ceremony to honor last year's patent recipients. Two team members each received their 20th patent in 2012, Minjuan Zhang, manager, Toyota Research Institute NA (TRINA) and Charan Lota, manager, electronic systems at Toyota Technical Center (TTC).

"Toyota is a great place to be an inventor," said Ms. Zhang.  "Everyone here is passionate about improving the customer's experience and it shows in the product." 

"You can tell a lot about a company by the new ideas they generate," said Mr. Lota.  "And, what these patents show about Toyota is that we are never going to stop trying to make better cars."

For more than 35 years, Toyota Technical Center (TTC), a division of Toyota Motor Engineering & Manufacturing, NA, Inc. has been the driving force behind Toyota's North American engineering and research & development activities. Established in 1977 and headquartered in Michigan, TTC has R&D facilities in Ann Arbor, Saline, Plymouth and Livonia.  In addition, TTC has R&D facilities in California and operates the Toyota Arizona Proving Ground near Phoenix.

TTC employs over 1,100 team members and is engaged in engineering design, vehicle evaluation, materials research, prototype building, powertrain tuning, safety/crashworthiness, regulatory affairs and advanced research for Toyota and Lexus vehicles manufactured or sold in North America.  TTC has developed the Avalon, Camry, Sienna, Tacoma, Tundra, Venza and RAV4 EV. 

For more information about Toyota, visit www.toyota.com or www.toyotanewsroom.com.

(Logo: http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20030501/TOYLOGO)


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