The US International Trade Commission (USITC) has confirmed it has opened a fresh round of investigations into manufacturers and sellers of various self-balancing devices.
Segway, Inc. claims a number of companies are breaching its patents, and has asked for powerful remedies to be enforced to protect these valuable intellectual assets. The latest complaints are levelled at Inventist (a company that is already subject to a claim filed last year), along with the makers of many of the best-known brands of hoverboards – including scooter giant Razor, PhunkeeDuck, Segaway and Swagway. Swagway is the manufacturer of about half of the 500,000 hoverboards recalled in USA last month because they constituted a fire hazard and presented a fall hazard to riders. The company was also hit with a copyright claim by Segway, Inc. in January 2016 (perhaps this explainx why they appear to be part way through an attempt to transition their name to SwagTron).
Last year Segway succeeded in preventing the import into the United States of just about every kind of self-balancing device (see Big win for Segway in patent war against….everyone!). For an backgrounder to this topic see our article Big trouble begins for Segway copycats (September 2015).