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Federal marshals raid a booth at CES over patent violation

They should probably check out most of South Hall while they're here.

US marshals raided and shut down a booth at CES on Thursday afternoon, serving a court order to the Chinese company displaying a $500, one-wheeled, self-balancing electric skateboard, Bloomberg Business reports. This product may sound familiar -- Silicon Valley startup Future Motion debuted the Onewheel, a single-wheeled, self-balancing, electric skateboard at CES 2014. The company also held a successful $630,000 Kickstarter campaign to fund its production. We tried out the retail version of the Onewheel in November 2014 and had a lot of fun with it. Apparently, Changzhou First International Trade did, too.

Future Motion secured a patent for the Onewheel's underlying technology in August and just this week received a second patent for the skateboard's design. The design patent led to the raid on Changzhou's booth on Thursday.

According to Bloomberg, Future Motion discovered Changzhou's self-balancing, one-wheeled skateboard in late 2015 and believed it to be a cheap knock-off. And we do mean cheap -- Changzhou's board is $550 while Future Motion's starts at $1,500. Future Motion's lawyer, Shawn Kolitch, sent a letter to the Chinese company in December demanding it stop all sales, but he never heard back. Kolitch approached the Changzhou booth at CES the day before the show opened and had similar luck. By Wednesday afternoon, Future Motion had filed a request with a judge to stop Changzhou from displaying its product on the CES show floor. The Changzhou booth is now bare, Bloomberg reports.

As Onewheel creator Kyle Doerksen told the site, "If customers start to view the space as full of low-quality, low-cost products, that reflects poorly on everybody. We hate to see someone poison the well."

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