Chinese self-balancing vehicle maker Hangzhou Chic Intelligent Technology Co scored a victory in a U.S. Section 337 investigation, at the cost of about million in legal fees, media reported.
The U.S. International Trade Commission (USITC) held an investigation based on a complaint by a U.S. designer and manufacturer of personal transporters Razor USA LLC on May 26, 2016. Razor cited patent infringement, according to a document issued by the USITC on July 28.
The commission found out no violation of Section 337 and closed the investigation as result, the document showed.
Under Section 337, the USITC determines whether there is unfair competition in the import of products into, or their subsequent sale in, the U.S.
Various Chinese companies have been involved in Section 337 investigations in recent years, and now the self-balancing vehicle sector has become a new focus of these investigations, Shanghai-based news site thepaper.cn reported on Monday.
As of the end of 2015, about 1,000 companies were selling self-balancing vehicles, with a total market value of more than billion in the U.S., the media report noted. The fierce competition has led to legal disputes.
Besides the dispute with Razor, the company also faced a complaint filed by Ninebot, a manufacturer of devices that acquired Segway Inc. Unlike other respondents, Chic decided to fight for its intellectual rights, according to the media report.
To respond to the Section 337 investigation, the company had to spend a lot of time and money, so it wouldn't be surprising if it spent million to defend itself, Yin Qingyu, a lawyer who represented the technology company, was quoted as saying in the media report.