During CES 2016, U.S. Marshals raided a booth belonging to Chinese company Changzhou First International Trade Co., doing so over its one-wheel electric scooter and alleged infringement of Future Motion’s Onewheel hoverboard. Now, and despite all that drama, Future Motion has quietly nixed its legal case against the Chinese company, which is itself going after Future Motion for damages as a result of the CES raid.
The raid had surprised booth representatives and CES-goers alike; U.S. Marshals confiscated the booth’s pamphlets, signs, ‘Trotter’ electric skateboard, and other devices. The reason, according to reports that surfaced, was Future Motion’s belief that Changzhou had violated its intellectual property. Future Motion reportedly learned about the competing Trotter device via one of its customers.
That led to Future Motion reportedly sending Changzhou a cease and desist letter, which the company didn’t oblige. Future Motion’s lawyer then visited the company’s booth immediately before the CES show floor opened, but Changzhou didn’t stop with its plans. Finally, Future Motion submitted a legal request the day before the raid seeking a judgement to ban Trotter from CES. The company was successful, and U.S. Marshals carried out the order soon after.
That leads up to today — according to Bloomberg, Future Motion has dropped its case against Changzhou and its Trotter one-wheel skateboard. The Chinese company hired its own legal representatives following the CES raid, and has argued that Future Motion can’t claim sole ownership of one-wheel electric skateboard designs. The company also pointed out some (small) differences between the OneWheel and Trotter.
Furthermore, Changzhou had argued that Future Motion had marketed Onewheel before seeking a patent (which it now has). As a result of it all, the company wants Future Motion to pay $100,000 USD in damages, as well as its legal fees; Bloomberg reports the legal fees have reached the six-figure mark, though a precise number wasn’t provided.
According to Future Motion’s lawyer Shawn Kolitch, the company decided to bow out of the legal battle due to mounting legal fees. Had the case continued all the way through, Future Motion may have been looking at seven-figure costs. It is possible Future Motion could go after Changzhou at some point in the future, though no plans to do so were stated.
SOURCE: Bloomberg Business