Hoverboards: At the Forefront of Safety and Intellectual Property Infringement
January 19, 2016
The two-wheeled self-balancing motorized scooter, often referred to as a “hoverboard,” has become a popular trend among celebrities and other consumers. The hoverboard is now making headlines for entirely different reasons and is facing scrutiny by government agencies, particularly, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) and U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP). Just as quickly as hoverboard sales soared, so did the number of reported injuries, as a result of exploding hover boards. Experts have concluded that many hover boards imported into the United States contain substandard or counterfeit lithium-ion batteries, which have resulted in the boards catching on fire. CBP, through its Intellectual Property Rights (IPR) enforcement program, is taking control by seizing large quantities of imported shipments of hover boards, and assessing importers with significant monetary penalties. Although CPSC has not yet promulgated any safety regulations for the hover boards, proposed regulations are anticipated to come in the near future. Prior to CPSC publishing any regulations in the Federal Register, the general public will receive notice and the ability to comment on the proposed regulations.
If you or someone you know imports hoverboards or any other merchandise that has been seized by CBP on the basis of intellectual property infringement, or would like to find out more information regarding the notice and comment rulemaking procedures, please contact Davidson Law Group.