Friday, January 8, 2016

Chinese Hoverboard Booth Raided by US Marshals at CES - Patent enforcement

Chinese Hoverboard Booth Raided by U.S. Marshals at CES | Watch the video - Yahoo Finance:

Also, there's a better story and another video on Bloomberg here.

That's very brazen. A Chinese knock-off shows up at a big gadget expo (Consumer Electronics expo) with samples of a single-wheel hoverboard that distinctly looks and functions like the Onewheel patented by Future Motion of California (inventor Kyle Doerksen). The Onewheel utility patent was already issued and this week a design patent was approved.

Federal Marshals showed up to take the knock-offs off in handcuffs (so to speak).

It is the responsibility of a patent owner to enforce patents. A willful infringer can be subject to treble damages (civil suit). But to really shut down a determined pirate, requires a diligent effort.

To do this so quickly and so forcefully, requires some pretty impressive action on the part of Future Motion.

Note the part that Alibaba, the Chinese answer to Amazon on steroids, plays in the infringement process. If you are buying a one-wheel for $500 but the real manufacture sells Onewheel at $1,500, you might be buying into something that is too good to be true.

Note the part that Kickstarter played in launching this invention with a massively successful $630k campaign. See here.

Note, lastly, that there appear to be quite a few patents within this space. (The Chinese company may have been infringing on dozens of patents, not just 2.)

Well, time to go levitate.

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1 comment:

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