NEW YORK (CNNfn) - Scooter maker Razor USA has filed suit against 16 rival scooter makers charging patent infringement, the company said Thursday.|
The suit comes just as the holiday season heats up, with scooters likely to top out as the hottest-selling toy this year.
Razor received a patent on the MS130, B1, and A2 scooter models from the U.S. Patent Office on Oct. 31. The company Thursday filed a lawsuit in Los Angeles against K2 Inc. and Gen-X Sports Inc., two popular sporting goods companies. The lawsuit also asserts claims against Asa Products Inc., Children's Place Retail Stores Inc. and H.L. USA Corp., among others.
"These companies are infringing our product, copying us on something we invented," said Carlton Calvin, president of Razor USA. "Our stand is that they simply don't have the right to do that. There are a lot of inferior products out there -- not necessarily produced by these companies -- that have the potential to cause injury, to cause people to associate scooters with a bad experience. By protecting out scooter design, we are ensuring the quality of the product."
Calvin added that Razor USA is actively "considering lawsuits against additional infringers -- that's for sure."
Scooters have become a trendy toy for children and teens. They sell at retail prices ranging from $99 to $149. Calvin says Razor USA plans to introduce a new series of scooters in spring 2000. Among the prototypes, an ultralight model weighing 4 pounds, a dual-suspension model, and -- for the grownups -- an electrized motor model.
Although there are no official industry-wide statistics on U.S. scooter sales,
Calvin maintains that Razor USA has, since the launch of the scooter line in June 2000, captured from 50 percent to 60 percent of the market share in the U.S. scooter market. Calvin projects that up to five million Razor USA scooters will be sold by the end of 2000.