Click here to visit the E-Surfer Blog

Electric Hydrofoil patent?

I came across the article at:


A professor from the US filed 2013 (and got granted later) a patent for an electric hydrofoil although another professor from Sweden had already published similar work in 2009.

It seems that the patent was now licensed on an exclusive base to Liftfoils (maker of the eFoil) and that each professional electric hydrofoil maker has to acquire a license and needs to pay.

My thoughts / questions:

It feels for me that you can go against the patent in front of court, but how expensive would this be?

Is there a professional eFoil maker here, who has any experience how high the fees are?

When everyone is developing the same product, the one with the patent will take an edge… It’s business.

Of course patents are valid, but not if you file a patent about something which was already published by someone else.

I think the patent authorities have to do better research before they grant a patent. This is what this entire topic is about :wink:

Keep in mind patent is only good in the country it is issued which is just the “USA” at this time.

Well the US is an important market for anyone who is looking into a global business. In addition it could be used as a case study for other countries.

I think this needs to be resolved better sooner than later.

I am missing quotes from the E-Foil makers here. Please don’t be shy …

SO if we just delvelop the electric motor for Jetfoil, should we apply a patent?:grinning:

For sure, if anyone is going to get a patent USA is the place to start for sure. Once you get one patent, its fairly easy to get many more patents for other countries. Just smart business.

I think it is only for a complete electric hydrofoil product.

OK, Thank you. :grinning:

The DIY community shall not fear the patents enforced by Lift. Larger organizations know how it works and if you leave yourself exposed, they will take advantage. Yes we have protected our work (not just in the USA) and we will enforce it, but everything will be ok. :wink: Electric foiling is just getting started.

eFoils are very new and there are a lot of engineering challenges. The pioneers will find new / better ways to do things and those investing in this R&D should be protected via patents. Fliteboard has developed many innovative solutions to solve a range of issues, and we have patent applications in place for these. As for the US patent in question - it will be interesting to see whether this stands up to scrutiny if and when a challenge is mounted (from either party) based upon the very clear prior art that exists for each integer of each claim. We have read the 500 page Evolo document (yes translated from Swedish) and have our opinion and advice on the matter. We wouldn’t be investing $m’s into this project without having a reasonable amount of clarity on this issue. That being said there are many other issues not just patents - e.g. regulatory, compliance, safety. All it takes is for one producer to put out a dangerous product and the party is over for all of us. On this basis I think there is more to gain from eFoil manufacturers sharing ideas and working together than completely against each other. Of course not every company will share this view!


Just returned from a formal patent challenge hearing in at the offices of the EPO in Munich Germany. In light of that, the prior art in the field of electric foiling is extraordinary. Having experienced decades of the full patent enforcement and challenge process, we are dedicating our energies to developing new gear and approaches and doing what we can to foster the growth of this new sport.

Patent applications in the USA can be filed up to a year after the intial public display, public display, online, tradeshow, etc., compared to most worldwide systems, the US is unique in this respect, the so called “grace period”. Patent appications in the EPO territory and other territories must be filed before any public release or demonstration globally. Products that are previewed in the US cannot then be patented in the EPO system, it is already prior art.

Additional information and some exceptions to the above


Hello @Lift team,

Do you as the licensor have an official website where you explain how the licenses work, what exactly you are licensing and what the price is for a licensee? Per unit? flat fee?



Hello @Lift. team,

Any news on the link for more information?



Hello @Lift,

I am also interested to learn more about the licensing program. Can you share some more details about the licensing terms?



I have several patents in several countries and the burden of proof is on the inventor make it and they have to take you to court which is very unlikely.
Generally the policy is NEVER lose a patent challenger rather just pretend you dont know.

On that note, I am desperate to locate and buy in bulk about 5 to 50 of the electric motors and assemblies you make for former windsurfers with injuries who have had to quit our beloved sport…you guys know feels like an alpha 105 under your feet in 35 knots…ya doing it for me…

need help with IP, licensing ask me in return help me locate the motors I am doing the impellers on our 3D printers and making them for sale at cost…they are polyeurather rubber and desinged to prevent severing human bits :stuck_out_tongue:

Hi, borntosurf222, imprint impellers on 3D printer made of polyurethane rubber is very special and incredible. Can you show a photo of such a impeller? Thanks!

Yes I would be very interested but I do not have that myself?

The american patent will not be valid.

The US patent office is NOT responsible for checking prior art and the inventor is ill motivated to be thorough.

Just because Lift is gullible enough ot pay doesnt mean anyone else has to

Latly, patents wont apply to people making it for their own use…it may but I have never heard of anyone being challenged for a non commerical use.