California Intellectual Property Blog


Segway Files Patent Lawsuit Over Hands-Free Scooter

segwayOrange County – The creator of the first self-balancing, zero-emission personal transporter, Segway, has filed a patent infringement lawsuit against Inventist. Segway alleges that Inventist infringed five patents to build its personal transporter products. The transporters for both companies resemble the one used in the Back to the Future 2 movie, resulting in many calling this lawsuit a battle for the hoverboard. This lawsuit is the latest in a number of lawsuits attempting to stop copycats that are making hoverboard-like products.

The products involved are Inventist’s Solowheel (described by the company as a “gyro-stabilized electric unicycle”) and Hovertrax (described as “the world’s first portable, double wheeled, self-balancing device”). Both products are increasing in popularity, especially among celebrities. Chris Brown rode the Hovertrax to the Cannes Film Festival, an annual film festival held in Cannes, France. Inventist was originally funded through Kickstarter.

Segway is alleging that Inventist violated the patents it holds on a personal transporter with a balance monitor, focusing on the patents the organization holds on its unique method of transportation. The primary focus is on US Patent No. 6302230 ‘Personal Mobility Vehicles and Methods,’ which deals with Segway’s method of transportation. The other patents cited in the lawsuit are U.S. Patent No. 6,651,763 ‘Transporter Oscillating Alarm’, U.S. Patent No. 7,023,330 ‘Transporter Oscillating Alarm’, U.S. Patent No. 7,275,607 ‘Control of a Personal Transporter Based on User Position’, and U.S. Patent No. 7,479,872 ‘Transporter Oscillating Alarm.’

Inventist also holds a patent itself, namely US Patent No. 20130238231 for a “two-wheel, self-balancing vehicle with independently movable foot placement sections.” Inventist has filed lawsuits in the past based on its patent. In fact, one of the lawsuits was against a company in China affiliated with Segway, a company Inventist claims is known for creating knock-off products. Mark Cuban, a business partner for Inventist, has claimed there may be more lawsuits coming as well.

In the Segway vs Inventist lawsuit, Segway is seeking damages, attorney fees, and an injunction to prevent Inventist from selling any products that infringe its patents. The case will go to a United States District Court in Delaware and may help clarify the rights that each company has to make hoverboard-like products.


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