Dear Valued Visitor,

We have noticed that you are using an ad blocker software.

Although advertisements on the web pages may degrade your experience, our business certainly depends on them and we can only keep providing you high-quality research based articles as long as we can display ads on our pages.

To view this article, you can disable your ad blocker and refresh this page or simply login.

We only allow registered users to use ad blockers. You can sign up for free by clicking here or you can login if you are already a member.

iRobot Corporation (IRBT) Drops Another Competitor… for Now

Page 1 of 2

If you ever thought iRobot Corporation (NASDAQ:IRBT)‘s defense and security bots were the only ones who could put up a fight, think again.

On Friday, the company’s popular Roomba robotic vacuums downed yet another competitor… at least temporarily in the courtroom, anyway.

More specifically, on Friday, iRobot Corporation (NASDAQ:IRBT) announced it had obtained preliminary injunctions through the District Court of Dusseldorf in Germany against Shenzhen Silver Star, the Chinese business behind the competing MyGenie line of “Intelligent Floor Vacuums.” The court, for its part, found three of Shenzhen’s vacuums infringed four separate iRobot patents.

Surprisingly enough, the preliminary injunctions had already been served on Shenzhen Silver Star, as “infringing goods” were seized from the company Friday at Berlin’s 2013 annual IFA consumer electronics show.

Of course, as fellow Fool Rich Smith pointed out, this is only a temporary respite to limit the damage to iRobot Corporation (NASDAQ:IRBT) while the case runs its course, and Shenzhen Silver Star is free to appeal the decision.

But while I’m no patent lawyer, a quick glance at one of the infringing models, the MyGenie XR210, appears to be a near carbon copy of several of iRobot Corporation (NASDAQ:IRBT)’s most popular vacuums:

MyGenie XR210 robotic vaccuum, Image source:

But remember, this certainly isn’t iRobot Corporation (NASDAQ:IRBT)’s first, second, or even third patent rodeo.

In July, the company also initiated legal action in Germany against four separate international companies for violation of five of iRobot’s European patents. As I noted at the time, at least one of the vacuums in that case was just as difficult to tell apart from iRobot’s popular 650 model:

Image sources:,

Prior to that, as iRobot’s press release also notes, the company achieved a successful settlement with New Majestic S.p.A. in 2011 after enforcing two of its Roomba patents in Italy.

And the Roomba isn’t the only bot that iRobot’s competition has tried to copy. Way back in 2007, iRobot’s military-centric PackBot had to assert its legal clout to take down competitor Robotic FX, in a borderline-awkward case that involved Robotic FX’s founder — who also happened to be an ex-iRobot employee — digging through iRobot’s trash in an effort to steal trade secrets and build a competing military solution.

Of course, that still doesn’t do much to negate the broader threat from much larger players in the space, like Northrop Grumman, who happens to know a thing or two about truly innovating in the field of robotics while abiding by generally accepted intellectual property rules. In fact, that’s why I heartily agree with Rich Smith, who recently made the argument that iRobot needs to step out of its comfort zone and develop new, better robots to stay ahead of the game.

Page 1 of 2

Biotech Stock Alert - 20% Guaranteed Return in One Year

Hedge Funds and Insiders Are Piling Into

One of 2015's best hedge funds and two insiders snapped up shares of this medical device stock recently. We believe its transformative and disruptive device will storm the $3+ billion market and help it achieve 500%-1000% gains in 3 years.

Get your FREE REPORT and the details of our 20% return guarantee today.

Subscribe me to Insider Monkey's Free Daily Newsletter
This is a FREE report from Insider Monkey. Credit Card is NOT required.
Loading Comments...

Thanks! An email with instructions is sent to !

Your email already exists in our database. Click here to go to your subscriptions

Insider Monkey returned 102% in 3 years!! Wondering How?

Download a complete edition of our newsletter for free!