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Nippon Steel Corp. said Thursday it has filed lawsuits against Toyota Motor Corp. and Chinese steel-maker Baoshan Iron & Steel Co. alleging infringement of a patent related to a key steel product for electric vehicles, in a rare legal battle between a Japanese steel-maker and one of its major customers.

The steel-maker said it is seeking damages of ¥20 billion ($176 million) from each company and has also asked the Tokyo District Court for an injunction prohibiting Toyota from manufacturing and selling in Japan electrified vehicles made with motors using nonoriented electrical steel sheets suspected of violating its patent.

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