On September 9, 2014, Segway Inc. of Bedford, New Hampshire and DEKA Products Limited Partnership of Manchester, New Hampshire (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 manuals relating thereto that infringe one or more claims of U.S. Patent Nos. 6,789,640 (the '640 patent); 7,275,607 (the '607 patent); D551,722 (the '722 patent); and D551,592 (the '592 patent) (collectively, the "asserted patents") and U.S. Copyright Reg. No. TX 7-800-563 (the "asserted copyright"):
- PowerUnion (Beijing) Tech Co. Ltd. of China
- UPTECH Robotics Technology Co., Ltd. of China
- Beijing Universal Pioneering Robotics Co., Ltd. of China
- Beijing Universal Pioneering Technology Co., Ltd. of China
- Ninebot Inc. (in China) of China
- Ninebot Inc. (in USA) of Newark, Delaware
- Shenzhen INMOTION Technologies Co., Ltd. of China
- Robstep Robot Co., Ltd. of China
- FreeGo High-Tech Corporation Limited of China
- Freego USA, LLC of Sibley, Iowa
- Tech in the City of Honolulu, Hawaii
- Roboscooters.com of Laurel Hill, North Carolina
- EcoBoomer Co. Ltd. of Malibu, California
According to the complaint, the asserted patents generally relate to various control functions of the Segway Personal Transporter that ensure safety and enjoyment for the user, as well as various ornamental features of Segway's unique transporter designs. In particular, the '640 patent relates to methods and apparatuses for yaw (or turning) control of a balancing transporter while maintaining the safe balance of the transporter. The '607 patent relates to improved controllers for a transporter. The '722 and '592 patents are design patents that relate to an ornamental design for a personal transporter. Lastly, the asserted copyright relates to Segway's creative expression embodied in manuals for its personal transporters.
In the complaint, Segway states that the Proposed Respondents import and sell products that infringe the asserted patents and the asserted copyright. The complaint specifically refers to WindRunner, Ninebot, Inmotion, Robstep M1, FreeGo, and EcoBoomer transporters as infringing products.
Regarding domestic industry, Segway states that its i2 PT, x2 PT, i2 SE, and x2 SE personal transporters practice certain claims of the asserted patents. Segway also states that, since 2006, its i2 and x2 personal transporters have been sold and distributed with manuals covered by the asserted copyright. As to the economic prong, Segway states that it maintains its headquarters and manufacturing plant in Bedford, New Hampshire. Segway states that, at this facility, it conducts design, engineering, research, development, manufacturing, testing, and various other activities in connection with personal transporters that practice the asserted patents. Segway further states that its employees created the manuals that embody the asserted copyright at this facility.
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 because it is necessary to prevent circumvention of a limited exclusion order, there is a pattern of violation of Section 337, and it is difficult to identify the sources of all infringing products.