Roomba maker iRobot takes step toward banning imports of rival SharkNinja

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  • iRobot accused SharkNinja of copying vacuum cleaner features
  • Decision could lead to import ban on SharkNinja products

(Reuters) – iRobot Corp, maker of the popular Roomba robot vacuum, won a ruling from the U.S. International Trade Commission that SharkNinja Operating LLC’s rival vacuums infringe some of its patents.

U.S. Administrative Law Judge MaryJoan McNamara’s initial determination could lead to a ban on imports of infringing SharkNinja products if the full commission upholds the findings.

McNamara ruled on Friday that SharkNinja infringed valid parts of two of the four patents at issue.

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iRobot CEO Colin Angle said in a statement on Monday that the decision “validates the strength of iRobot’s patent portfolio” and that the company is “reviewing the remainder of the initial determination and determining how to best respond.”

SharkNinja and its attorneys did not immediately respond to a request for comment on Monday.

Bedford, Massachusetts-based iRobot filed its ITC complaint last year in conjunction with a lawsuit against SharkNinja in Boston federal court.

iRobot accused Needham, Massachusetts-based SharkNinja’s ION-series, IQ-series and AI-series robotic vacuum cleaners of copying its technology for mapping rooms, targeting cleanings, using side brushes to clean hard-to-reach areas and other features.

The court case is on hold while the ITC proceeding continues. Another patent lawsuit iRobot brought against SharkNinja in 2019 is also on hold for related proceedings at the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office.

The case is In the Matter of Certain Robotic Floor Cleaning Devices and Components Thereof, U.S. International Trade Commission, No. 337-TA-1252.

For iRobot: Paul Brinkman of Kirkland & Ellis

For SharkNinja: Doris Hines of Finnegan Henderson Farabow Garrett & Dunner, Brian Rosenthal of Gibson Dunn & Crutcher

Read more:

Roomba maker iRobot sues SharkNinja over ‘knockoff’ robotic vacuum

Roomba maker sues to block rival robot vacuum

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Our Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

Blake Brittain

Thomson Reuters

Blake Brittain reports on intellectual property law, including patents, trademarks, copyrights and trade secrets. Reach him at

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