The tables have turned on a US-based hoverboard maker that sued a Chinese competitor for patent infringement.
Future Motion’s complaint led to Changzhou First International Trade’s products being seized at the CES tech trade show in January.
But the Chinese firm is now seeking $100,000 (£69,900) in damages plus reimbursement of its legal fees after the Californian firm dropped its claim.
Changzhou said there had been no reasonable basis for its rival’s case.
Both Future Motion and Changzhou make electric-powered hoverboards that are unusual for having a single central wheel rather than one at each end.
In January, Future Motion’s chief executive Kyle Doerkson told the BBC that Changzhou’s Trotter product was a “knock-off” of its own more expensive Surfing Electric Scooters.
“We have design and utility patents that cover our invention,” he added.
US marshals enforced a restraining order after receiving a complaint from the US firm, which led to the closure of Changzhou’s stall at the CES tech show on 7 January.
Footage of the incident was posted online by the news agency Bloomberg and it was widely reported elsewhere.
Changzhou subsequently rejected the allegations, saying a side-by-side comparison of the two firms’ products demonstrated that the platform, footpad and tyres designs were “plainly dissimilar to the ordinary observer”.
Furthermore, Changzhou said that the actual scope of Future Motion’s patents were much narrower than had been indicated and that US firm could in no way could claim the rights to “all one-wheeled, self-balancing vehicles”.
Future Motion maintains its claims, dismissing the first of the points as “legal puffery” and insisting that it still believes its intellectual property was infringed.
However, on 4 February it told the court that it wanted to voluntarily dismiss the case.
“We had achieved our goal of preventing [Changzhou’s] exhibition at CES,” Mr Doerkson told the BBC.
“Looking forward at the cost-benefit of continued litigation to seek an injunction, we decided that that cost benefit did not pencil out for us and that our intellectual property budget would be better spent in other ways.”
But Changzhou has since petitioned the judge to re-open the case saying it wants to be reimbursed for “business expenses incurred, lost sales suffered, and reputational damage”.
Moreover, the Chinese firm is also demanding Future Motion be forced to issue a press release notifying the public that it had dismissed its original claims.
Future Motion’s lawyer told the BBC it plans to formally oppose these demands once Changzhou’s legal team has filed some additional paperwork.
Canadian Government to Restrict Chinese Huawei, ZTE from its 5G Networks
Canada has said it will ban two of China’s biggest telecom equipment makers from working on its 5G mobile-phone networks.
The Canadian Industry Minister, Francois-Philippe Champagne disclosed the restriction against Huawei and ZTE on Thursday. He said the move will improve Canada’s mobile internet services and “protect the safety and security of Canadians.”
“This is about providing a framework to protect our infrastructure. In a 5G world, at a time where we rely more and more in our daily lives [on] our network, this is the right decision,” Mr Champagne said while speaking to reporters in the Canadian capital of Ottawa.
Investors King has it that this decision by Canada has been widely expected, as its allies had already barred Huawei and ZTE from their own high-speed networks.
This means that telecoms firms in the country will no longer be allowed to use equipment made by Huawei and ZTE.
“Companies that have already installed the equipment made by the Chinese manufacturers must now remove it,” Mr. Champagne added.
Four nations had already placed the same restriction on the companies. They include the United Kingdom, United States, Australia and New Zealand.
Canada with these other five countries make up an intelligence-sharing arrangement named ‘Five Eyes’ which evolved during the Cold War as a tool for monitoring the Soviet Union and sharing classified information
The Fifth Generation network is the next upgrade to mobile internet networks, offering much faster data download and upload speeds.
It also allows more devices to simultaneously access the internet. It comes as data usage is soaring, as the popularity of video and music streaming grows. This is pushing governments and mobile phone network operators to improve their telecommunications infrastructures.
Canada first announced a review of Huawei equipment in September 2018. The Chinese embassy in Ottawa, Huawei and ZTE did not immediately respond at the time of publication.
Spanish Regulator Fines Google 10 Million Euros For Transferring Data to Third Parties Illegally
Another privacy regulator has imposed a fine on Google for illegal data practices
Another privacy regulator has imposed a fine on Google for illegal data practices. The Spanish Data Protection Agency (AEPD) accused Google of transferring users’ data to third parties illegally and also hindering their right to erasure.
The privacy regulator slammed the leading search engine with a 10 million Euro fine, saying Google transferred information of citizens, including their identification, e-mail address, etc to third parties.
It should be recalled that in September 2020, the French data protection authority imposed a $57 million fine on Google, its highest penalty under the new law, for failing to disclose how its users’ data is processed. Later in the same year, the French regulator fined Google and Amazon €100 million ($120 million) and Amazon €35 million ($42 million) for using tracking cookies without users’ consent.
In Google’s latest fine, the Spanish regulator said Google’s actions contravene Articles 6 and 17 entrenched in the European General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR).
In a statement announcing the fine, AEPD said: “Google LLC acted as controller of the analysed processing, which was conducted in the United States. In the case of disclosure of data to third parties, the AEPD has found that Google LLC sent information of requests made to it by citizens, including their identification, e-mail address, the reasons given, and the URL claimed to the Lumen Project. The task of this project is to collect and make available requests for the removal of content, and the Agency, therefore, considers that, since all the information contained in the citizen’s request is sent for inclusion in another publicly accessible database and for dissemination via a website, the purpose of exercising the right of erasure results in practice frustrated.
“This communication of data by Google LLC to the Lumen Project is imposed on the user who intends to use Google forms, without the option of objecting to it and, therefore, without a valid consent for such communication to be made. Establishing such a condition for the exercise of the right to erasure granted to data subjects is in breach of the General Data Protection Regulation by generating “an additional processing of the data contained in the request for erasure when communicating them to a third party,” the Agency added.
Responding to the fine, Google stated that it has started reviewing the fine and will continue to engage regulators on privacy and how to reassess its practices.
“We’re always trying to strike a balance between privacy rights and our need to be transparent and accountable about our role in moderating content online. We have already started reevaluating and redesigning our data-sharing practices with Lumen in light of these proceedings”, Google noted.
Data Infrastructure Will Attract Foreign Investments, MainOne Tells FG
Chief Operating Officer of MDXI, MainOne’s Data Centre, Mr. Gbenga Adegbiji, has revealed that proper data infrastructure can attract foreign investments.
Adegbiji, during an interview with ThisDay, said the federal government should revamp its policies and create basic infrastructure that promotes effective data centre operations in Nigeria in order to attract foreign investments in the Information and Communications Technology (ICT) sector.
He said: “Investors do not invest based on what any government tells them, but they invest based on what they see, which has to do with growth indices and numbers. They look at the population report and the growth of the economy, including security of investments in the country, before they can invest in the country.
“Attracting foreign investments goes beyond what the Nigerian government is currently doing by merely visiting these investors in their countries to woo them to invest in Nigeria. They will surely come and invest if they see the need to invest in Nigeria, and a good example is the recent acquisition of MainOne by Equinix because MainOne has over the years, positioned its operations to a standard that is attractive to any foreign investor.
“Investments are made based on numbers, foreseeable return on investments, and risk that is associated with a particular country”.
According to Adegbiji, for any willing investor to come to Nigeria to invest, there must be basic infrastructure on ground. Citing lack of adequate electricity supply, which is a basic infrastructure for data centre operation, Adegbiji said the lack of such basic infrastructure would make it difficult for investors to consider Nigeria as an investment destination.
“Adequate and steady electricity supply is key to data centre operation because data centres consume a lot of electricity and any data centre operator will look at the stability of the electricity supply of a country, before venturing to invest in that country. If power is achieved, operators will be able to achieve up to 60 per cent of their operations in data centre business,” Adegbiji said.
He, therefore, advised the government to revisit its policy on power and ensure stable supply of electricity for businesses, in order to attract investors into Nigeria’s technology space.
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