The patent(s) we are most proud of are focused on features that improve or even maximize performance and provide the best possible, overall riding experience. Our patents will be identified on our website as they are issued, starting in just a few weeks.
We believe strongly in the founding principles of the United States Patent and Trademark Office, chiefly that inventors, for their innovation and investment, should be the ones to benefit mostly from their inventions, at least for a period of time. That is the basic deal one strikes with the Government when patenting a product, “If you protect my use of my invention for ~20 years, thereafter I will never argue that it is not public domain and everybody can freely use it”.
Protecting patent rights, however, is tricky business. Manufacturers of patent-violating products have learned two valuable tactics, first, disregard the patent and if sued, force a royalty agreement. Some take the strategy of expecting a legal loss with the expectation that the Jury will just award a “reasonable royalty”, and paid experts will testify seemingly forever about how that is “customarily” on the order of 1%. My previous defense of my “SmartMotor” patent made a convincing case for a unique ~17.5% royalty, but that turned out to be unnecessary as we were one of the “few” to ultimately stop the competitor’s production altogether while offering distributors opportunities to protect the end customers from other consequences related to products previously sold and currently in-use.
The second common defense is simply to “keep some distance”. Look at the two-wheeled “Hoverboards” accused of violating patents, but sold at incredibly low prices in the market lately and see what you can find on the company’s marketing them. In most cases, you will find no substantial US presence. These companies can pour product into the US by the shipping container, on the order of ~250,000 units per month, without concern for patent lawsuits too expensive for small inventors to defend overseas. They can also simply close one outlet and open another, or make small changes to the product to force the patent-holder to sue all over again. I averted this problem in the past by recognizing that money spent suing the manufacturers is wasted. Unfortunately, the only rational investment in protecting a patent is to sue the distributors and end-customers/users. The market itself has to be poisoned on infringing products. Sending “warning letters” is also a very bad idea as a patent holder can themselves be sued, and sued in remote jurisdictions at greater expense. The only remaining, rational and viable solution is to simply file and serve a lawsuit for patent violation, and serve it on everyone. In my previous experience, I didn’t get any traction in my efforts until I finally sued every last distributor and customer I could find, dozens of defendants, and all at once and all by complete surprise – that finally got the job done.
Much as I wish it were not the case, I see it as nearly inevitable that I will eventually have to do the same to protect our Hoverboard patents in the future. To anyone considering the manufacture or sale of a product that potentially infringes patents of Hoverboard Technologies I would like to say this, as experienced and aggressive as we will be in addressing patent violators at all levels, we are equally as experienced and aggressive toward establishing alliances. Instead of creating product that potentially violates our patent(s), consider working WITH us to cooperatively establish your product and/or brand in the marketplace. In some cases, we can even help with technology, accelerating your product to market, ensuring its success, and availing it of the best possible performance and feature sets. We don’t want to be the only ones selling products such as our Hoverboard; we just want our investment in advancing the concept to be acknowledged. Talk to us first!