Ninebot Retaliates to Infringement Suit

Posted on September 17, 2015

Let’s cut to the chase. Segway is indeed suing us. Why? A few months ago we filed suit in China against Ninebot, a Chinese company, for patent infringement with their “Ninebot One”, an electric unicycle similar to our popular product the Solowheel. Then, on June 1st 2015 Inventist successfully detained a large Ninebot One shipment heading out of China. (Chinese customs has the authority to detain any goods that are infringing on a granted patent.) These events signify a giant step forward for US companies who are dealing with counterfeit goods being manufactured in China and then shipped out and sold all over the world.

“This represents a big change in how China handles IP theft and I am pleased to see them taking action to prevent counterfeit products from leaving the country. We have pursued legal action against several manufacturers of counterfeit products but now we have an immediate solution to the problem”, says Shane Chen.

Ninebot’s response is the subject of the latest gossip on the Internet: a lawsuit against us. Ninebot bought out Segway earlier this year, giving them the rights to Segway’s patents while also ending Segway’s infringement complaints against them and legitimizing Ninebot’s line of Segway-like products.

To give credit where credit is due, self-balancing technology has been around for years. Since 1987, to be exact. An invention called the “Parallel Bicycle” was developed by Kazuo Yamafuji who is a Japanese professor and inventor. Mr. Yamafuji’s invention operates much like a Segway: it uses position sensors to balance on two parallel wheels. Sound familiar? One thing it doesn’t sound like: The Solowheel.