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iRobot Wins Respite in Patent Case Against Chinese Competitor

By Rich Smith - Sep 6, 2013 at 12:07PM

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iRobot says German court ruling in patent infringement case led to seizure of rival's vacuum cleaning robots at a trade show.

Roomba maker iRobot (IRBT 1.53%) says it has won a court victory against Chinese manufacturers of rival robotic vacuums.

On Friday, iRobot announced that the District Court of Düsseldorf in Germany granted it preliminary injunctions forbidding China's Shenzhen Silver Star Intelligent Technology Co., Ltd and Shenzhen Silver Star Intelligent Electronic Ltd. (collectively, "Shenzhen Silver Star") from selling their XR210, M-H688 and M-788 vacuums for the reason that these vacuums contain parts infringing four Europe-filed patents owned by iRobot.

Shenzhen Silver Star's MyGenie XR210, Source: MyGenie.com.

iRobot says examples of the Chinese vacuums were then seized as "infringing goods" from where they were being displayed at the IFA consumer electronics and home appliances trade show in Berlin.

In a statement, iRobot CEO Colin Angle explained the decision to seek injunctions against the rival robots: " iRobot has made significant investments to protect its intellectual property. The company has sold more than 10 million home robots worldwide and intends to protect its patent portfolio by the appropriate means available domestically and abroad."

A preliminary injunction is only a temporary maneuver designed to limit harm to a plaintiff, while the subject of its dispute with a defendant is being tried in the courts. Shenzhen Silver Star has the right to appeal the injunction prior to the court case running its course.

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