U.S. Marshals raid hoverboard booth at CES

By Shawn Knight ยท 8 replies
Jan 8, 2016
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  1. One of the great things about CES is that you're almost guaranteed to witness something you hadn't bargained for. Such was the case on Thursday when U.S. Marshals raided a booth exhibiting a discount electric "hoverboard."

    Changzhou First International Trade Co. (CZ-First) had been having a pretty decent day according to Bloomberg. The Chinese company's hoverboard, dubbed the Trotter, had attracted the attention of passersby largely due to its unique one-wheeled design.

    As it turns out, the design was a bit too unique (and familiar) to Future Motion. The startup, which rented a booth at CES in 2014 to showcase a product called the Onewheel (you guessed it, a one-wheeled scooter that's strikingly similar to the Trotter), felt the Chinese company's product was a total ripoff of his creation.

    The product's inventor, Kyle Doerksen, said he learned of the Trotter when one of its users posted about it online. Doerksen's lawyer sent a letter to CZ-First in December asking them to stop selling the knockoff. It went unanswered. He also approached the company the day before CES opened its doors but didn't get anywhere.

    As luck would have it, Onewheel's creator received a patent for his board's design earlier this week. Armed with it, he asked a judge on Wednesday to issue a temporary restraining order, hence the raid. Authorities confiscated all of CZ-First's merchandise and marketing material, leaving its employees clueless as to what to do next.

    Doerksen told Bloomberg the raid not only eliminates what he described as an illegitimate competitor, but helps protect the reputation of the entire electric skateboard industry - one that has already been tarnished due to fire safety concerns.

    Permalink to story.

  2. umbala

    umbala TS Maniac Posts: 197   +176

    This is a funny story. I noticed that the typical tactic of these Chinese companies is to "ignore them until they go away" once confronted by the competition they're trying to rip off. Looks like this time around the problem didn't just go away, but bit them in the ***. :)
  3. VitalyT

    VitalyT Russ-Puss Posts: 3,664   +1,949

    Turns out, re-inventing the wheel has been copyrighted... LOL
  4. Axiarus

    Axiarus TS Maniac Posts: 253   +126

    Its. Not. A. Hoverboard.
  5. Uncle Al

    Uncle Al TS Evangelist Posts: 3,339   +1,986

    Now we have to wonder with Grog from BC will show up and demand they pay royalties for the past 1.25 million years ...... that might pinch the old profit margin!
  6. seeprime

    seeprime TS Addict Posts: 127   +106

    Electric unicycle, not hoverboard. Marketing speak can be such nonsense. Looks unsafe, more than it looks like fun.
    OutlawCecil likes this.
  7. Underdog

    Underdog TS Booster Posts: 58   +26

    Call me old-fashioned, but things that are unsafe can be a lot of fun. You just need to be aware of the risks and don't get caught by the ever watchful "Fun Police".
  8. ikesmasher

    ikesmasher TS Evangelist Posts: 3,000   +1,319

    Funny thing is, im pretty sure the media are the ones that started calling them hoverboards, then the companies followed suit. I never once saw them called "hoverboards" before the news articles about them.
  9. Puiu

    Puiu TS Evangelist Posts: 2,662   +1,096

    This was so much free publicity for them. Marketing genius!

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