Hoverboards Are About to Banned in the U.S. For a Surprising Reason
Segway strikes back.
Before hoverboards became the hottest Christmas gift to ever spontaneously burn down a house, the folks at Segway were already decidedly unhappy about the competing, self-balancing electronic scooter. That’s why they filed a patent-related grievance with the US International Trade Commission (ITC) almost two years ago, reported Ars Technica.
It took till March 16, 2016, but the ITC finally went along with Segway:
On Wednesday, the ITC issued a general exclusion order banning several types of the self-balancing devices, often called “hoverboards.” The case could affect the whole market, since a general exclusion order is the commission’s most powerful remedy and can affect even parties not involved in the investigation.
There’s also a limited exclusion order issued directly against the products of several Chinese companies sued by Segway. Only one of those companies responded and fought the case at all, while the others were in default.
The hottest thing on two wheels from the end of 2015 is basically having a really crappy 2016. After all, it’s been used in crimes, been the object of criminal greed, and targeted by the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission—in addition to gaining a rep as the most fun thing to ever burst into flames under your feet.
The ban is especially good timing if you consider, as Ars Technica noted, that Segway introduced its own hoverboard/robot combo at CES in early January, 2016.
The self-balancing electronic scooter market is apparently pretty combustible in more ways than one.
h/t Ars Technica