On March 22, 2016, Razor USA, LLC of Cerritos, California (“Razor”), Inventist, Inc. of Camas, Washington (“Inventist”), and Shane Chen of Camas, Washington (collectively, “Complainants”) 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 motorized self-balancing vehicles that infringe one or more claims of U.S. Patent No. 8,738,278 (the ‘278 patent), and, further, that certain of these entities have engaged in unfair methods of competition through false advertising and/or false or misleading representations of fact in connection with the sale and importation of such motorized self-balancing vehicles:

  • Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. of Hong Kong
  • Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. (U.S.) of San Mateo, California
  • Alibaba.com Ltd. of China
  • Alibaba Global Shipping Inc. of Oakland, California
  • Hangzhou Chic Intelligent Technology Co., Ltd. of China
  • Contixo of Ontario, California
  • ZTO Store a.k.a. ZTO Trading, Inc. of Monterey Park, California
  • CyBoard LLC a.k.a. Shark Empire Inc. of Glendale, California
  • Genius Technologies a.k.a. Prime Capital of Hastings, Minnesota
  • GyroGlyder.com of Stockton, California
  • HoverTech of Hebron, Kentucky
  • InMotion Entertainment Group LLC of Jacksonville, Florida
  • Soibatian Corp. dba IO Hawk and dba Smart Wheels of Glendale, California
  • Jetson Electric Bikes LLC of New York, New York
  • Joy Hoverboard, a.k.a. Huizhou Aoge Enterprize Co. Ltd. of China
  • Shenzhen Kebe Technology Co., Ltd. of China
  • Leray Group of China
  • Modell’s Sporting Goods, Inc. of New York, New York
  • Newegg.com Inc. of City of Industry, California
  • PhunkeeDuck, Inc. of Floral Park, New York
  • Powerboard a.k.a Optimum Trading Co. of Hebron, Kentucky
  • Shareconn International, Inc. of China
  • Shenzhen Chenduoxing Electronic Technology Ltd. of China
  • Shenzhen Jomo Technology Co., Ltd. of China
  • Shenzhen R.M.T. Technology Co., Ltd. of China
  • Shenzhen Supersun Technology Co. Ltd. a.k.a. Aottom of China
  • Skque Products of Irwindale, California
  • Spaceboard USA of Norcross, Georgia
  • Swagway LLC of South Bend, Indiana
  • Twizzle Hoverboard of La Puente, California
  • Uwheels of Santa Ana, California

According to the complaint, the ‘278 patent relates to, among other things, a two-wheel, self-balancing vehicle having independently movable foot placement sections. The foot placement sections have an associated wheel, sensor, and motor and are independently self-balancing, which gives the user independent control over the movement of each platform section through the magnitude and direction of tilt that a user induces in a given platform section.

In the complaint, Complainants state that the Proposed Respondents import and sell products that infringe the ‘278 patent. The complaint specifically refers to various products associated with the Proposed Respondents as infringing products. In addition, the complaint states that certain of the Proposed Respondents engage in false advertising in connection with their importation and sale of the accused motorized self-balancing vehicles, including through false certifications of compliance with “UL” safety standards and false statements that such accused vehicles contain Samsung-branded or LG-branded batteries.

Regarding domestic industry, Complainants state that they practice the ‘278 patent in the U.S. through their Hovertrax products. Complainants further state that they have engaged in engineering, research and development, design, prototyping, quality control, testing, warranty and technical support, repair, customer service, sourcing and supply chain management, merchandising, product management, and licensing relating to the technology of the ‘278 patent in the U.S. Complainants also state that the Proposed Respondents’ unfair competition has had the threat or effect of causing substantial injury to Complainants’ domestic industry.

As to related litigation, Complainants state that they are currently engaged in two pending litigations against certain of the Proposed Respondents in the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California, where Complainants have alleged infringement of the ‘278 patent.

With respect to potential remedy, Complainants request that the Commission issue a general exclusion order, a limited exclusion order, and a permanent cease and desist order directed at the Proposed Respondents. The complaint states that a general exclusion order is necessary and appropriate to prevent circumvention of a limited exclusion order and/or to remedy a pattern of violation of Section 337.