Every year, the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas is an exciting event. It's the hottest place in the tech world for days on end, and all people talk about are the cool upcoming products. But, as far as drama goes, CES is usually pretty low-key. You'd never expect to see the U.S. Marshals storm in. After all, it's just a room full of techies and geeks.
This year's CES doesn't seem to be following suit. The event got off to a good start, but then things got messy, and spectators were surprised when U.S. Marshals raided the booth of a Chinese hoverboard maker.
It all had to do with a tiff that's going on between a Chinese company, Changzhou First International Trade Co. (CFITC), and a U.S. hoverboard maker, Future Motion. Apparently, Future Motion was made aware of CFITC's product, which it claims is a knockoff version of its own product - a new hoverboard known as Onewheel.
"We engaged our IP lawyers because we heard there were going to be knockoffs of the Onewheel product appearing at CES," said Kyle Doerksen from Future Motion. "We went through the formal U.S. legal process to get a temporary restraining order against one of these companies that's trying to sell a knockoff product in the States for the first time."
According to the claim, CFITC's product would sell for around $500, while Future Motion's product would sell for nearly $1,500. Hearing this makes it sound like two companies that are simply duking it out for stakes in their market, but Doerksen said that wasn't the case.
"If customers start to view the space as full of low-quality, low-cost products, that reflects poorly on everybody," he said. "We hate to see someone poison the well."
We think the well has already been poisoned with the recent reports of hoverboards catching on fire. But, what do you think?
While the hoverboard manufacturers duke it out, you'd probably be better off with some of these other cool sports products: