Chinese electric skateboard maker’s booth raided by U.S. Marshals at CES 2016
In a bizarre turn of events at CES 2015 a Chinese company’s booth was raided to remove their electric skateboard and other promotional stuff. The reason? Well, they were showing-off Trotter, a one-wheeled self-balancing skateboard which allegedly has patent breach. Changzhou First International Trade, is the Chinese company in question and they are alleged by a Silicon Valley start-up Future Motion of making the exact copy of their one-wheeled electric skateboard called OneWheel.
Two U.S. Federal marshals and Future Motion’s legal team came to their booth and packed all the stuff they had including fliers and signs. The unassuming company staff were stunned who were having a good day so far. Apparently, Future Motion debuted their prototype OneWheel at CES 2014 and they have been selling it since last year for a price of $1,500.
In the meanwhile they discovered Changzhou First International Trade’s Trotter last year and Founder Kyle Doerksen sent desist and cease letter in December which was not replied to. With no option left they took the case to court and the judge ordered the copycat product to be removed from CES 2016.
Changzhou First International Trade were selling Trotter on Alibaba online marketplace and since it is a wholesale online retailer, about 2,000 skateboards were being offered for $500 each. Thanks to a loyal OneWheel user who posted about this in an online forum, Doerksen had a reason to think he was cheated. They also found out that retailers from Iceland, Germany and U.S. bought around $70,000 worth of this product from Alibaba!