iRobot and SharkNinja are battling it out in the courtroom over alleged patent infringements in the robotic vacuum cleaner space.
SharkNinja Operating LLC, creator of the Shark IQ Robot vacuum cleaner, said today it filed a complaint last week against iRobot int the U.S. District Court for the District of Delaware seeking a ruling from the court that the Shark IQ Robot does not infringe certain iRobot patents directed to robot vacuum cleaners. The company said it filed the lawsuit in sreponse to a threatening letter from iRobot “wrongly accusing SharkNinja of infringing these patents,” the company said in a statement. “SharkNinja takes intellectual property very seriously and takes active steps to avoid violations of any intellectual property.”
Yesterday, iRobot filed a motion for a preliminary injunction asking that SharkNinja and its related entities halt sales and distribution of its Shark IQ Robot. The company filed its motion based on the infringement of iRobot patents related to the Roomba i7+ robot vacuum with Clean Base Automatic Dirt Disposal. The iRobot motion was filed in the District of Massachusetts, with a hearing date to be scheduled.
iRobot’s preliminary injunction identifies Shark’s IQ Robot, released more than a year after the Roomba i7+, for infringement of three iRobot patents: (1) U.S. Patent No. 9,921,586 (selected room cleaning); (2) U.S. Patent No. 9,550,294 (recharge and resume technology with mapping); and (3) U.S. Patent No. 9,492,048 (auto-evacuation technology). iRobot also filed a complaint for patent infringement involving three other iRobot patents, spanning core iRobot features such as the Roomba i7+ robot’s roller technology and modularity.
“As demonstrated by our victory at the ITC last year, iRobot takes strong measures to protect our intellectual property and the hard work of our engineering teams,” said Glen Weinstein, Executive Vice President and Chief Legal Officer of iRobot. “We will not stand by while our technology gets brazenly ripped off, and we will continue to vigorously defend our innovations both in the U.S. and abroad.”
“iRobot’s lawsuit is their latest attempt to dominate the robot vacuum cleaner market through litigation and deny consumers the choice of robotic vacuum cleaners at affordable prices,” SharkNinja said in a statement. “SharkNinja filed its lawsuit first in order to quickly clear its name and put an immediate stop to iRobot’s threats.”
The company said it “will aggressively defend itself against any and all unsubstantiated claims of patent infringement, and is confident that it will prevail in this matter.”
SharkNinja announced on Sept. 19, 2019, the release of its Shark IQ Robot Self-Empty system, which includes a self-emptying dock along with room-by-room navigation and self-cleaning brushroll.