A major international court ruling may force DJI to pull numerous drones off the shelves in the United States due to a patent violation.
The ruling came on March 2, when Steptoe, a law firm representing Autel Robotics USA convinced the US International Trade Commission's chief administrative law judge that DJI had violated Section 337 of the Tariff Act of 1930 through the act of importing and selling drones that violated US Patent 9,260,184, which is held by Autel. The patent refers to a locking mechanism for locking drone rotors and was first filed in 2013.
As such, the judge has recommended stopping the importing of numerous DJI drone models, including the Mavic Pro, Mavic Pro Platinum, Mavic 2 Pro, Mavic 2 Zoom, Mavic Air, and Spark. A further recommendation calls for a prohibition on the sale of any of the aforementioned models that are already in stock in the United States, which could see these models disappear starting in July (if the ruling is upheld).
Meanwhile, DJI will need to put up a 9.9-percent bond during the forthcoming 60-day review, and Autel has filed a further petition to stop the sale of Phantom and Inspire drones as well. Certainly, if upheld, this would have a huge impact on the drone industry in the United States.