Tag Archives: patent

US Bans Hoverboard Imports – Hoverboards Banned

And not because of them catching fire!

The U.S. Just Banned Hoverboard Imports

And it has nothing to do with their fiery explosions.

The International Trade Commission announced Wednesday that the United States is banning imports of so-called hoverboards.

But while some brands of the auto-balancing scooters are known to spontaneously combust, the U.S.’s decision had nothing to do with safety and everything to do with a request from Segway, the hoverboard’s nerdy uncle.

Hoverboards are often described in media reports as Segways without handlebars, or a cooler Segway. But it turns out the new scooters have more in common with their Paul Blart-endorsed predecessor than meets the eye.

Segway filed a complaint with the ITC in 2014, claiming that hoverboards, the vast majority of which are manufactured in China, infringed on some of their patents and copyrights. The particular patents they listed mostly have to do with technologies that allow Segways to self-balance and read user inputs.

“In recent years, there has been an influx of low quality two-wheel personal transporters built on the intellectual property developed by DEKA and Segway,” the company, which licenses the technology from research firm DEKA, said at the time. “If this influx is allowed to continue, this iconic American product and the U.S. jobs dependent on it will be threatened.”

While Segway is based in New Hampshire and continues to manufacture its products there, it was bought last April by Ninebot, a Chinese company that Segway actually listed as a respondent in its 2014 complaint.

The ITC’s ruling goes on to name several brands that are no longer allowed to be imported into the country, including UPTECH, U.P. Technology, U.P. Robotics, FreeGo China, Ecoboomer and Roboscooters.

Segway said it would work with both U.S. customs and the ITC to help implement the ban, although demand for these products is likely at a new low. Just last month, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission announced voluntary safety standards for all manufacturers, importers and retailers of self-balancing scooters due to their pesky tendency to catch on fire. Online retailer Amazon even agreed to refund all hoverboard purchases.

All of which means there might be a gaping new hole in the self-balancing scooter market. One that Segway could be poised to fill if it would only get cracking on asmaller, cooler-looking model.

The last isn’t going to happen. Segway will continue to sell vastly overpriced product now that there is no competition.

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Posted by on March 17, 2016 in Great American Rip-Off, News


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Stop Thief! China and Intellectual Property

Glad to see somebody bellying-up to this issue. The theft of American Developed Intellectual Property by China has reached epidemic proportions – and is having a seriously negative impact on the ability of emerging tech companies to develop economically in the US.

One of the biggest reasons for the development of US based manufacturing of high-tech products and moving that production back into the US is the “tax” of intellectual property theft, and the fact that 15 seconds after you ship a “blueprint” to China, 15 other “factories” are manufacturing clones. That unseen tax raises the true cost of manufacturing in China by an order of magnitude. Then there is the cost of lost markets – making American developed products, regardless of where they are ultimately manufactured noncompetitive in emerging markets such as India and Africa.

Lastly is the National Security issue. American IP is literally bootstrapping Chinese weapon systems, without China having to pay the cost of development. Making the Chinese Military’s weapons, in some cases more advanced in terms of electronics than our own. Add that to China’s huge human resource advantage in terms of trained engineers… And that becomes a major problem.

Several years ago I was part of a company which produced 7 “Patentable” technologies in High Tech communications systems. We made the decision to Patent only one of those technologies for two reasons: 1) the high cost and long delay inherent in pursuing a US Patent ($40k+) followed by an International Patent (another $40k+) saddling a startup company with over $560k in legal fees and, 2) that the Patent would be exposed to competitors, including Chinese companies who would copy it – meaning, with the common lethargy of US Venture Capital when dealing with new technologies versus “process improvements” and “social media” – products based on our Patents would be on the market far (1-2 years) before we could get them out the door. The rest were held as “Trade Secret”, which is a euphemism for “just don’t tell anyone how it actually works” – because it will take longer to reverse engineer it…

Than steal it.

Timothy Geithner: China ‘Very, Very Aggressive’ In Stealing U.S. Technology


Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner said on Thursday that China is holding to its decades-old strategy to steal American intellectual property, in a pointed statement reflecting U.S. officials’ growing impatience with Beijing.

“They China have made possible systematic stealing of intellectual property of American companies and have not been very aggressive to put in place the basic protections for property rights that every serious economy needs over time,” Geithner told a forum in Washington.

“We’re seeing China continue to be very, very aggressive in a strategy they started several decades ago, which goes like this: you want to sell to our country, we want you to come produce here … if you want to come produce here, you need to transfer your technology to us,” Geithner said.

Although unusually direct, Geithner’s comments echo a common refrain from U.S. officials and executives. The new U.S. Ambassador to China, Gary Locke, who has assailed China in the past for its trade practices, has put the defense of U.S. intellectual property among his chief priorities.

China has said it would drop some of its “indigenous innovation” rules that have riled foreign companies who say access to government equipment and technology orders hinge on their transferring patents and other intellectual property. Read the rest of this entry »

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Posted by on September 23, 2011 in American Genocide


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