Those pesky hoverboards of doing more than causing problems at airports and landing people like Mike Tyson on their asses.
The popularity of the hoverboards has triggered a lawsuit by the device’s original creators Segway, over the common Hip-Hop term “swag.”
Segway filed a lawsuit last week over the word “swag” in the United States District Court for the District of Delaware.
Segway claims a South Bend, Indiana-based business is infringing on their trademark by using the company name “Swagway.” Swagway LLC is a corporation that is in the business of importing marketing and selling the hoverboards.
Their product has been featured on “Good Morning America, in the USA Today and PC Magazine.
The publicity Swagway managed to attract has brought the wrath of lawyers at Segway, who are less than pleased with the word swag, which is causing them a legal headache. The owners of Swagway filed to trademark their name; something Segway has an issue with.
Segway originally sent a cease and desist letter to Swagway on December 2, but lawyers for Swagway fought back against the allegations.
Lisa Holubar, who is representing Swagway for Irwin IP, shot back a letter to Segway disagreeing with the company’s claims of infringement.
“The Marks may share use of the common word ‘way,’ but the shared use of a word does not automatically mean that the Marks as a whole are similar for purposes of trademark law,” Swagway’s lawyer Lisa Holubar said. “In fact, the overall commercial impressions of the Mark differs greatly.”
“Swagway is a coined term, the dominant portion of which is ‘swag’ – slang that is short for ‘swagger’ and means being or having something cool. The overall impressions of Swagway is thus cool, trendy and hip, a youthful brand with swagger.” – Swagway’s lawyer Lisa Holubar.
|Segway is mad|
Interestingly, Swagway’s lawyer pointed out that Segway’s name was derived from the word “segue,” a term that represents easily getting from one point to another.
“The overall impression of Segway is that of a way to get from point A to point B,” Lisa Holubar argued.
Since the owners of Swagway seem to be undeterred, Segway officially filed a lawsuit on December 23, claiming the use of the word “swag” was too close to the “Seg” in the Segway trademark and that the businesses are too similar.
“Defendant knew or should have known of Segway’s prior use and registration of the Segway Marks at the time it began using the mark and trade name Swagway,” lawyers for Segway said. “Indeed, the Segway Marks are so famous in this field and generally that there is no way Defendant did not know of Segway’s rights in the Segway Marks at the time Defendant selected Swagway from all possible names Defendant could have chosen for its new products, its business, and its company name.”
The owners of Swagway offered to change the name of the company to avoid a lawsuit, but as of press time their website is up, running and still selling Swagway hoverboards.