Several patents were cited by iRobot, including navigation systems, motors, and brushes used to collect dust. The argument is that other high-end manufacturers are infringing on some or all of these patents with their products.
As one example, IRobot has accused the century-old mainstay Hoover Inc. of violating its intellectual property rights by marketing similar, circle-shaped household robo-cleaners.
IRobot made similar claims in suits against Black & Decker and Bissell Homecare, as well as the Canadian company Bobsweep Inc. and a Chinese company doing business as iLife. The claims also name Chinese manufacturing and importing partners for the companies. [NB none of the companies were available for comment at the time of publishing, as some have not even heard of the allegations yet.]
The products that iRobot claims infringe on its patents all appear to have entered the market between 2015 and 2017. iRobot said in a statement that “the filing of this litigation signals our commitment to protecting our investments. IRobot will not stand by while others offer products that infringe on our intellectual property.”