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Swagway appealed before the United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit against the judgement of United States International Trade Commission in an investigation, The Court of Appeal held that there was a violation of Section 337 by Swagway.
Previously Segway Vs Swagway was filed before the International Trade Commission on May 18 2016, by Segway Inc., DEKA Products Limited Partnership and Ninebot Technology Co. Ltd. The matter of allegation was based on a violation of Section 377 based on infringement of six patents and two Trademarks ('948,'942).
The '948 mark is the non-stylised version SEGWAY mark which covers motorized, self-propelled, wheeled personal mobility devices. The '942 mark is the stylised version of the SEGWAY mark covering the same goods as its non-stylised counterpart.
The problem arose when Swagway's self-balancing hoverboard products, marketed under the names SWAGWAY X1 and X2 as well as SWAGTRON T1 and T3, violated Segway's marks. The Commission assigned an Administrative Law Judge (ALJ) to deal with the case.
After several hearings regarding U.S. patent Nos.’230 patent, '607 patent and the Trademarks ALJ issued an Initial Determination stating that there was no infringement on patent and the technical prong of the domestic industry requirement was not satisfied for those patents and Trademark infringement prevails.
A review petition was filed by Swagway against ALJ’s denial of a consent order. The Commission determined not to review the ALJ 's denial. Moreover, the Commission agreed with the ALJ's likelihood-of-confusion determination and it's Trademark infringement determination.
Dissatisfied with the commission's decision Swagway filed an appeal. The Court of Appeal affirmed the Commission's decision and held that Swagway infringed Trademark. The case is about Trademark infringement. The Judiciary judged the case on Dupont factors of a judicial precedent.
The burden of proof is on the Trademark owner to give evidence of likelihood confusion. Segway provided not enough evidence in support of their arguments, though the Court found that evidence of actual confusion is sufficient to prove the confusion
The ITC and the Commission held that the degree of similarity between the two marks in appearance, the pronunciation of the words and the strength of the “SEGWAY” marks indicated a likelihood of confusion.
The Court ordered that there is Trademark infringement by Swagway. Further, it was also held that the Commission’s infringement decisions are not entitled to preclusive effect in District Courts.