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Old 12-08-2014, 07:18 PM   #1
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Thumbs down Segway rip off in the UK?

The distributors of the Airwheel in the UK are set to release what looks like a rip off Segway:

http://www.theairwheel.com/buy/airwheel-s3-preorder/
https://twitter.com/theairwheel/stat...84889735340032

Hope Segway are licencing this and it isn't just another rip-off. And they will be facing the same legal limitations that Segways face in the UK.

It costs 1,100 inc VAT whereas a Segway i2 SE costs 5,514
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Old 12-10-2014, 09:06 AM   #2
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There's no way that's licensed. Segway would probably charge the price of that machine just for the license.

Now, I don't condone knockoffs, but it's pretty irritating that a cheap knockoff can offer so many features that Segway - at 5 times the price, and having been on the market for years - has never bothered to include, like integrated lighting, speakers, a larger screen, and a vibrant color combination. (Sorry - sage is not a vibrant color combination.)
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Old 12-10-2014, 09:15 AM   #3
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Well, I guess it's easier for a competitor to jump in on someone else's idea and not have to solve the same issues as the original patent holder - or plough in the same R&D funds and carve out a market. Or not be constrained by or held accountable to the same standards. But yeah sure, they add a few bells and whistles and reduce the price. Built in speakers? Really?

Perhaps Segway should release a 1 wheel Segway PT "AW model"?
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Old 12-10-2014, 05:10 PM   #4
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What is the difference between an Airwheel, and a Solowheel? Didn't the Solo come out first? Is there a similar issue going on between those two, as is going on in the topic of this thread?

IF, and it is a big IF, because I do not know, but if the airwheel is a clone of a solowheel, then why would be surprised if their site features a clone of a segway...
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Old 12-11-2014, 09:39 AM   #5
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I'm not sure which unicycle came out first. It's hard to tell. There are quite a few models. I had an Airwheel for a while. The company in the UK selling it is just a distributor selling the stuff from China. It's the people in China who are doing the copying - and in China, perhaps the patent laws are not so strong. But in the UK, US patents should be observed - so for Airwheel to sell such an obvious copy should be nipped in the bud, IMHO.

Whether or not the original inventor of the electric unicycle took out patents, I do not know. Then we have the Ryno, a 1 wheel unicycle/motorcycle. Not sure if that is too far from the Airwheel (fundamentally) to be considered to be infringing.
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Old 12-11-2014, 09:40 AM   #6
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Airwheel quote the range of their two wheeler as being 35-40 miles on a charge. That seems pretty good to me.
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Old 12-11-2014, 01:07 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gbrandwood View Post
I'm not sure which unicycle came out first. It's hard to tell. There are quite a few models. I had an Airwheel for a while. The company in the UK selling it is just a distributor selling the stuff from China. It's the people in China who are doing the copying - and in China, perhaps the patent laws are not so strong. But in the UK, US patents should be observed - so for Airwheel to sell such an obvious copy should be nipped in the bud, IMHO.

Whether or not the original inventor of the electric unicycle took out patents, I do not know. Then we have the Ryno, a 1 wheel unicycle/motorcycle. Not sure if that is too far from the Airwheel (fundamentally) to be considered to be infringing.
I am having trouble following your logic here. If the intellectual property of the solo wheel was that it was the first electric unicycle that we saw marketed, and then airwheel, from China, copied it, and then sold it thru that distributor you bought from...

And the intellectual property of the segway was the first two wheel non tandem device that we saw marketed, and the then this company (robin, for argument's sake), from China, copied it, and then sold it thru that same distributor you bought from...

Why would it be a China issue for the clone solo wheel, and not a China issue for the clone segway?

It seems you bought the clone solo wheel for the same reason that people buy clone segways. Much of the cost of a device is in development, and sale price reflects that. Therefore the copy, with out all that development costs, can sell for much less. Add to that the fact that the original device is already out and has comments about it, like color and features, the copy can be made much cheaper, but also be 'new and improved'.

This is not a new thing. I have always thought that the Japanese car industry was like that. Their early ones used US steel, melted down from old chevys and fords, and the early model japanese cars sold in the US were cheaper in all ways. They were smaller, slower, less safe, and less comfortable. But over the years, they developed into being superior. The copy eventually surpassed the original.

The Koreans have made a similar leap. Theirs was significantly faster, and the evolution of Korean cars in the US from cheap copy to true competitor happened in years instead of decades.

Smaller devices like the segway and solowheel will have that cycle move much, much faster.

I do not see anything new here. I see what has existed several times in my lifetime and experience. The only new here is the names, not the concepts. At least, that is how I see it.
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Old 12-11-2014, 01:39 PM   #8
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When buying the AirWheel, it was the only version available from a credible UK distributor that boasted UK warranty and was touted as the only UK legal model available. It is for sale in Harrods - not known to be a merchant selling rip-offs. I made these points in a separate discussion thread about the Airwheel.

My logic is, if a company who holds a patent for some intellectual property sees another company ripping it off, then they can (and should IMHO) protect their IP and stop the competitor from ripping them off. There are lots of cases where IP is not protected or it is licenced etc. for various reasons.

I don't have the detailed knowledge of the Airwheel and similar modes of transport, like I do about the Segway, to be able to say who is copying who. So all I am saying here is, unless Segway have licenced their technology to the manufacturers of the Airwheel Segway-like device, Segway should look to prevent the sale of this much cheaper product in a country that recognises the patents involved and in a country that offers Segway's existing product line and has done since it's release.

I'm not trying to make out that this situation is new or unheard of. I was just alerting us and Segway INC to the situation so they can choose to do what they please. For all I know, Segway might have licenced their technology to the Airwheel manufacturers. Or perhaps their solicitors are drafting a letter to Airwheel UK as we type...

I can't see how letting this product exist and sell in the UK will be helping Segway UK or Segway INC at all.
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Last edited by gbrandwood; 12-11-2014 at 01:45 PM..
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Old 12-11-2014, 09:39 PM   #9
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I wont even quote the few here, that thinks its awesome that they can save major coin going to a china knock off!

If I remember they call it capitalism?....and no matter?'''' screw the American worker who might build it....

And people wonder what wrong with the world, or America? Make a decent hourly wage to raise a family.... or give some insidious wage to a 3rd world worker?

what ever I have my eyes focused in the right direction....yes even if it cost me more.....What a concept!!!!!
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