Years ago project Ginger was announced as the next big thing. Even larger than the internet! Project Ginger turned out to be Segway. Despite of the revolution design and technique, a bit disappointing as it concerned an electric scooter. Segway never made it to the worldwide public. Local regulations choked the introduction, except for some Segway tourist tours.
Segway was sold to a millionaire who drove his Segway into a ravine. Finally, Segway was owned by investors. With the most valuable asset, the patent portfolio. Lawsuit after lawsuit was filed against look-a-likes and fakes, including a Chinese company called Ninebot.
Now Ninebot must have thought, why spend time in law courts. The result: they just bought Segway. Now, that is resolute handling! Besides preventing the court actions, Ninebot is very interested in the technique and IP portfolio.
But although the IP portfolio concerns several trademark registrations, the trademark Segway seems a bit diluted in Europe. The reason? There are several other trademarks with Segway as a part of their names, owned by different companies. Owning a trademark is one thing, defending a trademark a very important other thing.
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“Trademark protection gives freedom to do business.”