Sunday, January 10, 2016

Business Espionage: The Hoverboard Knockoff

The hoverboard hubbub at CES in Las Vegas Thursday was something straight out of a corporate espionage movie...

US marshals raided a booth set up by Chinese company Changzhou First International Trade. It was promoting its Trotter electronic skateboard—what Bloomberg describes as looking "like a seesaw with one big wheel in the middle."

The problem: Silicon Valley startup Future Motion says the product is a knockoff of its own Onewheel skateboard, invented and designed by Kyle Doerksen.

"When we got word that a company was exhibiting a knock-off product, we engaged in the formal process, which involved sending a cease and desist letter and ... getting a restraining order ... then enforced by the US marshals," Doerksen tells the BBC. more