U.S. marshals on Thursday raided a Chinese company booth, which showcased hoverboards, at the CES 2016 event in Las Vegas. Officials confiscated the one-wheeled skateboards following a patent infringement claim filed by a startup company Future Motion.
The Federal marshals also took down the signs and shut down the booth, which displayed $500-worth one-wheeled, self-balancing vehicle known as Surfing Electric Scooter, Bloomberg Business reported. The knock-off product by the Changzhou First International Trade had close resemblance to Onewheel, an identical single-wheeled electric hoverboard by Future Motion. The US-based startup was granted a patent for Onewheel's design earlier this month, which led to the raid.
Future Motion also reserves patent rights over Onewheel's underlying technology that makes their skateboard self-stabilising.
Changzhou First International Trade officials and the Consumer Technology Association, which organises CES, did not comment on the matter.
"If customers start to view the space as full of low-quality, low-cost products, that reflects poorly on everybody. We hate to see someone poison the well," Future Motion's founder Kyle Doerksen told Bloomberg.
According to the report, Future Motion discovered Changzhou's Surfing Electric Scooter in December 2015 and sent out a letter demanding immediate stop in sale of the product. Future Motion's lawyer Shawn Kolitch said he approached Changzhou's booth at the CES 2016 the day before the show began, but found no luck. Finally, Future Motion decided to fight it out legally and filed a request with the judge in the U.S. District Court and sought the U.S. marshals' assistance to shut down the booth.
Consumer Electronics Show is a prestigious event conducted annually to display futuristic tech that companies have lined-up for the future. From companies like LG, Samsung and Sony to several startups demonstrate their innovations at the event. The CES 2016 event is being hosted in Las Vegas, which concludes Saturday, 9 January.