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CES 2016: Chinese company’s hoverboard get confiscated by US Marshals

By John Law - on 8 Jan 2016, 11:31am

CES 2016: Chinese company’s hoverboard get confiscated by US Marshals

Image source: The Verge.

Since reports (and shameless Facebook videos) of hoverboards suddenly being engulfed in a ball of flame as they self-implode began surfacing on the net, the problem has undoubtedly struck fear into the hearts of many people and companies, especially in the aviation industry.

While you may think that US authorities are taking the same precautions when raiding a Chinese company's booth and confiscating their electric skateboards during this year's CES 2016, the reason is actually based on something else entirely.

According to The Verge, the company, named Changzhou First International Trade (Changzhou First), suffered the embarrassment of having all their hoverboards that were present at the show, confiscated by US Marshals. The one-wheeled hoverboard, known as the Trotter, was confiscated on grounds that the device had infringed upon the patent design of Future Motion, a Silicon Valley startup that also makes one-wheeled electric skateboard known as OneWheel.

The raid was conducted after the founder of Future Motion, Kyle Doerksen, first discovered the Chinese company’s product at last year’s CES and sent them a cease-and-desist letter in December, demanding that the company stop selling their product. As expected from a Chinese company, Changzhou First didn’t respond to Boerksen’s letter, and the end result was the aforementioned raid.

Chinese-made hoverboards have proven to be very popular with the US, having already flooded the US market in 2015. The problem with these Chinese-made boards, however, are cheap and poor-quality components that cause many of them to be combustible. This problem has led to people such as US inventor Shane Chen to work with scooter maker Razor to prevent Chinese companies from peddling their potentially life-threatening hoverboards and electric skateboards from being sold in the US.

"If customers start to view the space as full of low-quality, low-cost products, that reflects poorly on everybody,” Doerksen had told Bloomberg. “We hate to see someone poison the well.”

Source: The Verge.