U.S. Patent Office’s Patent Trial & Appeal Board Invalidates All Asserted Claims of Two iRobot Patents; Consumers will benefit from continued innovation in household floor care products
NEEDHAM, Mass.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–SharkNinja Operating LLC, a subsidiary of JS Global (HKEX: 1691.HK) and an innovation leader in the consumer floor care industry, today announced that the U.S. Patent Office has invalidated all of the asserted claims of two patents iRobot Corp. (iRobot) accused SharkNinja of infringing as part of a six-patent lawsuit filed in 2019. These rulings leave only two patents remaining in that lawsuit, which is currently stayed. Decisions on the validity of those two patents are expected later this month.
“SharkNinja remains dedicated to providing the highest quality robotic vacuums at an extraordinary value and will continue to innovate to improve people’s lives,” said Pedro J. Lopez-Baldrich, Chief Legal Officer. “These Patent Office rulings are the latest in a string of wins that validate SharkNinja’s commitment to stop iRobot from asserting invalid patents to stifle competition in the robotic vacuum cleaner space.”
Earlier this week, the Patent Office’s Patent Trial & Appeal Board (PTAB) ruled that the asserted claims of U.S. patent number 9,550,294 titled “Autonomous Robot Auto-Docking and Energy Management Systems and Methods” (the ’294 patent) and U.S. patent number 9,921,586 titled “Celestial Navigation System for an Autonomous Vehicle” (the ’586 patent) are invalid. These two patents are part of a lawsuit filed by iRobot in October 2019 in federal court alleging that SharkNinja’s IQ Robot robotic vacuum infringed six iRobot patents. That lawsuit was baseless from the start. Indeed, at the outset of the case, the Court rejected iRobot’s request for a preliminary injunction based on SharkNinja’s showing that iRobot was unlikely to succeed in proving infringement.
Since the lawsuit was filed, four of the six asserted patents have now been dismissed or invalidated. iRobot dismissed one patent (the ’586 patent) shortly after the lawsuit was filed. Two more patents were dismissed in 2021 after SharkNinja persuaded the PTAB to reconsider the validity of five of the asserted patents. And this week’s PTAB decisions held that all asserted claims of the ’294 and ’586 patents are invalid. These decisions leave only two iRobot patents in the 2019 lawsuit. SharkNinja expects to receive rulings from the PTAB on its requests to cancel the last two patents later this month.
These rulings come on top of two successful outcomes for SharkNinja at the PTAB earlier this year. In July 2021, SharkNinja’s request to invalidate iRobot’s U.S. patent number 7,389,156 resulted in a ruling canceling all challenged claims. And in September 2021, the PTAB granted SharkNinja’s request to review the validity of two patents that iRobot has asserted in another lawsuit now pending at the U.S. International Trade Commission: U.S. patent numbers 7,571,511 and 10,296,007.
SharkNinja is an innovation leader in the housewares industry and creator of the familiar household brands Shark® and Ninja®. SharkNinja provides the latest in easy-to-use innovative technology with a growing line of solutions that consist of Shark cleaning and home care products and Ninja kitchen appliances. Products are sold at major retailers and through distributors around the world. Ninja and Shark are registered trademarks of SharkNinja Operating LLC. SharkNinja is a subsidiary of JS Global (HKEX: 1691.HK) a leader in small household appliance innovation.
For more information, visit sharkninja.com.