Things got a little extra interesting at CES yesterday when federal agents raided a Chinese hoverboard maker’s booth over alleged patent infringement. The incident, which was caught on video, involved Chinese maker Changzhou First International Trade Co., which was showcasing a one-wheeled transportation device similar to ‘hoverboards’ and very similar in particular to the Future Motion Onewheel.
According to Bloomberg, which managed to get a video of the raid, a pair of U.S. Marshals arrived at Changzhou’s CES booth and began confiscating all of the devices and materials, including signs and pamphlets. The company had been showcasing Trotter, a device that is essentially an electronic skateboard with one large wheel in the middle.
Future Motion, maker of the Onewheel, first started developing its concept years ago, and received a patent for the technology this past August followed by a design patent in recent days. Now that it had the design patent, it was able to go after Changzhou and its very similar Trotter with infringement claims.
A Onewheel customer brought the Chinese company to Future Motion’s attention ‘late last year.’ This led to Future Motion taking action, with the company first sending a cease and desist letter to Changzhou over the product. When that didn’t get any results, Future Motion lawyer Shawn Kolitch tried approaching the booth directly the day before CES’s show floor opened. The results were said to again be unfruitful.
This led to a legal request being filed on Wednesday seeking a judgement to bar Trotter from being showcased at CES. The U.S. Marshals have confirmed that the court order was served at CES resulting in the items being confiscated.
Image via Bloomberg Business