US bans hoverboards, amazing but true! In a move that will leave many, who were planning to buy a hoverboard, disappointed, Segway has managed to issue a general exclusion order for hoverboards that infringe their ‘Control of a personal transporter based on user position’ patent no. US 8830048 B2.
Segway has stated that hoverboards infringe the patent based on the intellectual property developed by DEKA, the company from which Segway licenses the technology.
The general exclusion order has come from the International Trade Commission (ITC) and bans the import of hoverboards into the United States.
Segway has called out 13 companies which it states infringes their patent, and of these five have either reached settlements with Segway or got consent orders. The companies named by Segway include UPTECH, U.P. Technology, U.P. Robotics, FreeGo China, Ecoboomer and Roboscooters. One of them, Ecoboomer has been barred from selling any hoverboards that have entered the US. Surprisingly one of the companies that has reached a settlement with Segway is Ninebot, a Chinese company that bought Segway in 2015.
The patent war happening with the hoverboard itself is yet another story, which involves Shane Chen the Seattle-based engineer who had originally filed the patent for the hoverbard, Razor a US based toy company, Ninebot and Chic Robotics a Chinese company.
It is being said that the ITC general exclusion order has wider ramifications and may even affect the bigger hoverboard companies like Swagway and IO Hawk.
The execution of this general inclusion will also involve the US Customs as the ITC public notice clearly states that all devices that violate Segway’s intellectual property have to be blocked by US customs.
Obviously, this does not mean that all hoverboards will vanish from the US market, only that it will get a little harder to get. In the light of these development, it will be a good idea to buy your hoverboard from the Swagway website, which is selling the original Swagway X1. Swagway is also one of the hoverboard companies that was working closely with UL to develop safety and quality standards for the US hoverboard industry. They are also in the process of launching their new next generation fire-retardant hoverboard the SwagTron.
This new developed has come soon after the CPSC, the Consumer Products Safety Commission, a US Govt. agency stated that hoverboards cannot be sold unless they are UL 2272 certified.
It is clear that the hoverboard market in the US is now waiting for the next concrete development, where one company will emerge with a hoveroard brand that is UL 2272 compliant and does not infringe upon any patents.
At Best Hoverboard Brands, we feel that all of these developments are pushing the hoverboard industry towards the next generation of safer, better and universally accepted hoverboards. We keenly await the day when the Hoverboard 2.0 will be available for all to buy.