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.
Fintech Companies Raised $554 Million in Investment Last Week
Financial Technology Firms Raised $554 Million Investment Capital Last Week
Financial Technology (Fintech) companies raised a combined $554.17 million from investment rounds last week.
A data compiled by Finbold showed the top 25 fintech firms were led by Razorpay and Wealthsimple.
Razorpay, a payment platform, raised $100 million to account for 18.04 percent of the total amount raised during the week. This was followed by Wealthsimple’s $87 million.
Deepwatch came third with $53 million while NYDIG and M1 Finance came fourth and fifth with $50 million and $45 million, respectively.
Other noteable fintechs include Extend $40 million; FOSSA $30.55 million; +Simple $23.75 million; Finexio $23 million; and Sonrai Security $20 million.
On the other hand, Evolve Credit was the last among the 25 companies. It raised $0.025 million while Upside Saving raised the second least fund at $0.42 million. Also, they were the two firms that raised below $1 million in the week under review.
Oliver Scott, a Finbold editor, who spoke on funding in the fintech sector, said “Notably, venture capital is still the primary source of funding for fintech startups. However, new trends indicate a high level of private equity and debt financing. Additionally, more funding activity is concentrated around later funding rounds. The sector is also witnessing a rise in IPOs and acquisitions. Such trends are pointing to a maturing market.”
Snapchat Adds 39 Million Daily Active Users YoY Representing 18% Growth
Snapchat Daily Users Increase by 39 Million YoY, a 18 Percent Increase
Data presented by Buy Shares indicates that Snapchat daily active users have grown by 39 million on a Year-Over- Year basis. The addition represents a growth of 18.57%.
Pandemic spurs Snapchat’s DAU growth
During Q3 2019 the daily active users stood at 210 million while the figure was 249 million as of Q3 2020. Between Q3 2018 and Q3 2020 Snapchat’s daily active users have grown by 33.87%.
After witnessing a rise in daily active users the numer slumped between Q1 2018 and Q4 2018 with a percentage drop of 2.61%.
The research also overviewed Snapchat’s number of daily active users based on regions. As of Q3 2020, North America recorded the highest number at 90 million, a growth of about 7% from a similar period last year.
Commenting on the recent surge in Snapchat’s daily active users, Buy Shares researcher Justinas Baltrusaitis said:
“After taking a dip in users around 2018 Snapchat began witnessing a steady rise from the end of last year. The platform’s 2020 numbers have been boosted by the coronavirus pandemic.During the health crisis, most people were confined to their homes and turned to social platforms like Snapchat for entertainment.”
Europe has 72 million active daily users as of Q3 2020, a growth of 10% from Q3 2019. Elsewhere during Q3, 2020 the rest of the world had 87 million daily active users.
UK Imposed €132.7 Million of GDPR Fines, more than Germany and Italy Combined
UK Imposed €132.7 Million of GDPR Fines, more than Germany and Italy Combined
The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) continues causing hefty fines and penalties for businesses and organizations across European countries even two years after coming into force.
According to data presented by Buy Shares, the United Kingdom tops the list of the most expensive data breach penalties with €132.7 million in total value of GDPR fines, more than German and Italy combined.
Cumulative Value of GDPR Fines Hit €344 Million, a €119 Million Increase in 2020
The primary reason for such a high cumulative value of GDPR fines in the United Kingdom is the data breach penalty imposed by the UK’s data protection authority, ICO, to Marriott International. In November 2018, the American multinational company was fined with €110.4 million after reporting a cyber incident that exposed nearly 340 million guest records.
Last week, the ICO fined British Airways €22 million for failing to protect the personal and financial details of more than 400,000 of its customers, the second-largest GDPR fine in the United Kingdom. The penalty is considerably smaller than the €204.6 million that the ICO initially said it intended to issue back in 2019 after the Magecart group used card skimming to collect the personal and payment information of British Airways` customers.
Far below the United Kingdom, Germany ranked as the second-leading country in Europe with €61.6 million in the cumulative value of GDPR fines, revealed the GDPR Enforcement Tracker data. On October 1st, 2020, H&M Hennes & Mauritz Online Shop was fined with €35.2 million for the insufficient legal basis for data processing, the severest GDPR penalty in the country.
Italian data protection authority (Garante) imposed €57.3 million worth of GDPR fines so far, ranking in third place among European countries. On January 15th, 2020, telecommunications operator TIM was fined €27.8 million for unlawful data processing, non-compliant aggressive marketing strategy, and invalid collection of consents, the steepest penalty in Italy.
France ranked fourth among the European countries with €51.3 million worth of GDPR fines. Austria, Sweden, and Spain follow, with, €18 million, €7million, and €3.9 million, respectively.
Statistics indicate the cumulative value of GDPR fines and penalties hit over €344 million in October, with almost €119 million worth of new fines imposed in 2020.
Top Five GDPR Penalties Account for 70% of Cumulative Fine Value
Behind Marriott’s €110.4 million worth GDPR fine, Google holds second place on the list of the highest data breach penalties. The US tech giant was fined €50 million by France’s data protection regulator, CNIL, for not providing enough information to users about its data consent policies and control in using their data.
H&M Hennes & Mauritz Online Shop ranked third on this list with €35.2 million worth GDPR fine. Italian telecommunications operator TIM and British Airways round the top five list with €27.8 million and €22 million, respectively.
Statistics show the five biggest data breach penalties cost more than €245 million, or 70% of cumulative GDPR fine value.
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