Tables turn on US hoverboard firm after CES raid

One Wheel Hoverboard

At CES 2016, a Chinese hoverboard company had its booth seized by US marshals over complaints about a patent infringement, but the firm is now seeking reimbursement for damages.

Changzhou First International Trade’s hoverboards were taken at the huge technology exhibition in January, following a complaint by US rival Future Motion, who argued its one-wheeled Trotter hoverboard was too similar to the OneWheel hoverboard produced by Future Motion.

However, Future Motion has dropped its case and as a result of the events at CES, Changzhou is looking to receive $100,000 (almost £70,000) in damages, as well as being reimbursed for legal fees.

Changzhou argued that there was no reasonable claim to be made against itself by Future Motion, saying the US company cannot claim the rights to all one-wheeled hoverboards that are made.

Jeff Black, a lawyer hired by Changzhou, said: “Future Motion must have known it had no basis for getting the temporary restraining order, and its only real purpose in filing suit was to do business harm to Changzhou.”

Future Motion maintains its belief that its intellectual property has been infringed by Changzhou. Its chief executive, Kyle Doerkson, said: “We had achieved our goal of preventing [their] exhibition at CES. Looking forward at the cost-benefit of continued litigation to seek an injunction, we decided that that cost benefit did not pencil out for us and that our intellectual property budget would be better spent in other ways.”

The OneWheel and the Trotter differ from the common hoverboard design as they only have one wheel, located in the centre of the board. Most hoverboards on sale have two wheels, one at either end of the board.