By Eric Schweibenz and Alex Englehart
On August 16, 2016, Segway Inc. of Bedford, New Hampshire, DEKA Products Limited Partnership of Manchester, New Hampshire, and Ninebot (Tianjin) Technology Co., Ltd. of China (collectively, “Segway”) filed a complaint requesting that the ITC commence an investigation pursuant to Section 337.

The complaint alleges that the following entities (collectively, the “Proposed Respondents”) unlawfully import into the U.S., sell for importation, and/or sell within the U.S. after importation certain personal transporters, components thereof, and packaging and manuals therefor that infringe one or more claims of U.S. Patent Nos. 6,302,230 (the ‘230 patent) and 7,275,607 (the ‘607 patent) (collectively, the “asserted patents”):

  • Powerboard LLC of Scottsdale, Arizona
  • Metem Teknoloji Sistemleri San of Turkey
  • Changzhou Airwheel Technology Co., Ltd. of China
  • Airwheel of the Netherlands
  • Airwheel of Hoboken, New Jersey
  • Fastwheel of China
  • Shenzhen Chenduoxing Electronic Technology Ltd., China a.k.a. C-Star of China
  • Hangzhou Chic Intelligent Technology Co., Ltd. of China
  • Hovershop of Placentia, California
  • Shenzhen Jomo Technology Co., Ltd. a.k.a. Koowheel of China
  • Guangzhou Kebye Electronic Technology Co., Ltd. a.k.a Gotway of China
  • Inventist, Inc. of Camas, Washington

According to the complaint, the asserted patents generally relate to Segway personal transporter devices.  In particular, the ‘230 patent relates to a balancing transporter that issues an alarm based on a relationship between a user’s current speed and a maximum operating speed.  The ‘607 patent relates to improved controllers for a transporter.

In the complaint, Segway states that the Proposed Respondents import and sell products that infringe the asserted patents.  The complaint specifically refers to various personal transporters associated with the Proposed Respondents as infringing products.

Regarding domestic industry, Segway states that its own personal transporters practice at least one claim of each of the asserted patents.  Segway further states that it conducts activities in the U.S. relating to the production, engineering, development, testing, marketing, distribution, customer service, and repair of such personal transporters.  Segway specifically refers to its headquarters and manufacturing plant in New Hampshire, where it conducts many of the aforementioned activities.

As to related litigation, Segway states that the asserted patents are being asserted in ITC Inv. No. 337-TA-1007, which is currently pending before ALJ David P. Shaw.  See our June 28, 2016 post for more details on the 1007 investigation.  In the complaint, Segway specifically requests that any investigation instituted as a result of the instant complaint be consolidated with the 1007 investigation.  Segway also states that the ‘607 patent was previously asserted in ITC Inv. No. 337-TA-935.  See our November 5, 2014 post for more details on the 935 investigation.  Segway further states that the asserted patents are currently being asserted in numerous cases in the U.S. District Court for the District of Delaware against, inter alia, certain of the Proposed Respondents, as well as respondents in the 1007 investigation.

With respect to potential remedy, Segway requests that the Commission issue a general exclusion order, a limited exclusion order, and permanent cease and desist orders directed at the Proposed Respondents.  Segway states that a general exclusion order is warranted both to prevent circumvention of any exclusion order limited to products of named entities, and because there is a pattern of violation of Section 337 and it is difficult to identify the source of infringing products.