Patent News

Feb. 10, 2016

The Hill Opinion: Congress should protect American innovators, not Chinese infringement, by Erik Telford

This post originally appeared in The Hill on February 10, 2016.

China is “killing us” on trade, as Donald Trump is fond of asserting, but this is more than mere campaign hyperbole. As a recent raid by U.S. federal marshals at the Consumer Electronics Show last month reminds us, American innovators do face legitimate threats both foreign and domestic in today’s globalized economy.

Citing accusations of patent infringement, the marshals confiscated a one-wheeled electric skateboard produced by Chinese company Changzhou First International Trade. The product was conceptually derived from the hoverboard – a similar self-balancing device, but with two wheels, that has become popular in recent years. The American company Future Motion had invented and patented a remarkably similar one-wheeled skateboard called the Onewheel, and after weeks of effort Future Motion had finally convinced a federal court in Las Vegas to issue a restraining order, seizure order, and temporary injunction against Changzhou.