Two US Marshals raided the booth of a Chinese manufacturer after it was accused of patent infringement. The company, Changzhou First International Trade Co., was displaying several one-wheeled electric scooters, which were seized by the Marshals. The company was sued by an American company called Future Motion which claimed that their scooter was a 'knockoff' of its scooter.
The US District Judge had issued an order for company’s products to be seized and that the company stop sales. Future Motion’s attorney, Shawn Kolitch, was present at the raid and he told Ars Technica that the Marshals had seized “five to six” scooters along with marketing materials. He said, “This was unusually fast—I’ve never heard of a situation where anybody was able to get a [temporary restraining order] and a seizure the same day,” and added, “I think the reason that it was exceptionally fast was that we emphasized in the motion that the harm that we were most concerned about was the attention that this product would get at CES.” He also described the raid as orderly and that Changzhou’s representatives did not resist the proceedings. Changzhou hasn’t made any formal legal response and will get a chance to present its formal defence in a hearing on January 14.
Future Motion’s one-wheeled scooter, called 'OneWheel', managed to raise over $630,000 on Kickstarter and it started selling the vehicles in December, 2014. The device is currently available its website for $1,499, which is about Rs. 1 lakh. Changzhou’s scooter is called 'Trotter’ and is available on Alibaba for about $550, which is approximately Rs. 36,700.
Devices aren’t the only things that Chinese companies are infamous for copying. Back in September last year, fake Apple stores started popping up in China. These stores were taking ‘pre-orders’ for the Apple iPhone 6s which was yet to be released released in the country then. It was reported that customers were willing to pay double the actual price of the device. The fake stores sourced stock from official retailers and charged a premium. Devices were also being smuggled from Hong Kong and the US.