Razor USA, which recently bought a patent for a "a two-wheel, self-balancing personal vehicle," is suing leading hoverboard distributor Swagway for patent infringement, BuzzFeed News has learned.
According to the suit, filed in US District Court in California on November 27, and obtained by BuzzFeed News, Razor alleges that Swagway "infringes... by making, using, offering for sale, selling, and/or importing... without license or authority, Swagway, Swagway X1, Swagway smart balancing electric skateboard, and related and similar products..."
Razor, which makes the popular scooter of the same name, entered into an exclusive licensing agreement with Shane Chen, the patent holder, last month. The nascent hoverboard industry has already been beset by litigation, including a suit by Chen and former partner Mark Cuban against IO Hawk, another leading hoverboard brand.
Razor USA, historically, has been no stranger to litigation. The company sued more than 20 sellers of copycat scooters in the early 2000s to protect its dominance as the toys exploded in popularity.
Hoverboards, including Swagway, are all manufactured in China, where the patent picture is even murkier. From there, they are typically branded by a Western distributor, and sold through a variety of poorly regulated outlets. This suit by Razor may be the first step in clearing the way to take over the still-nascent market that seems set to explode.