BURLINGTON, Mass.– LAWFUEL – Legal Newswire –iRobot Corp. (Nasdaq: IRBT) today announced that the U.S. District Court for the District of Massachusetts has granted in part iRobot’s request for preliminary injunction in a lawsuit against former employee Jameel Ahed and his company, Robotic FX, Inc., prohibiting use of critical features incorporated in the design of the Negotiator, a knock-off version of the combat-proven iRobot® PackBot® robot.
While the precise terms of the order were issued under seal because they specify the trade secrets not to be infringed, U.S. District Judge Nancy Gertner found that iRobot is likely to succeed in its claim that Ahed misappropriated iRobot’s trade secrets and used such trade secrets in the development of Robotic FX’s robot tracks. According to the court’s order, the iRobot PackBot track and the process by which it is manufactured appear to meet all of the necessary qualifications of a trade secret.
“We are pleased with the court’s decision,” said Colin Angle, chief executive officer of iRobot. “We stand ready to deliver our field-proven iRobot PackBots to aid our warfighters in their dangerous missions.”
On October 23, both iRobot and Robotic FX were notified that the Army had set aside its $280 million xBot contract award to Robotic FX for the Negotiator pending a reassessment of Robotic FX’s ability to deliver as a responsible contractor. The same letter also indicated that if Robotic FX is found unable to deliver as a responsible contractor, the xBot contract will be awarded to the next lowest technically qualified bidder, iRobot.
In addition to the lawsuit for trade secret misappropriation in which the preliminary injunction has been entered, iRobot has a separate lawsuit pending against Robotic FX for infringement of two U.S. patents in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Alabama.
iRobot sought the preliminary injunction in the Massachusetts case after discovering that Ahed attempted to destroy evidence related to both lawsuits. The preliminary injunction decision, issued late Friday, is the first handed down in the Massachusetts case. The judge also ordered a trial date of no later than April 7, 2008.
iRobot has delivered more than 1,200 PackBot robots, which are at work conducting dangerous missions while warfighters remain out of harm’s way.
About iRobot Corp.
iRobot is a provider of robots that perform dull, dirty or dangerous missions in a better way. The company’s proprietary technology, iRobot AWARE™ Robot Intelligence Systems, incorporates advanced concepts in navigation, mobility, manipulation and artificial intelligence. This proprietary system enables iRobot to build behavior-based robots, including its family of consumer and military robots. For additional information about iRobot, please visit www.irobot.com.
For iRobot Investors
Certain statements made in this press release that are not based on historical information are forward-looking statements which are made pursuant to the safe harbor provisions of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. This press release contains express or implied forward-looking statements relating to, among other things, iRobot Corporation’s expectations concerning estimates of expenses and future revenues and management’s plans, objectives and strategies. These statements are neither promises nor guarantees, but are subject to a variety of risks and uncertainties, many of which are beyond our control, which could cause actual results to differ materially from those contemplated in these forward-looking statements. In particular, the risks and uncertainties include, among other things: our dependence on the U.S. federal government and government contracts; market acceptance of our products; changes in government policies or spending priorities; competition; and, our ability to protect our intellectual property and other proprietary rights. Existing and prospective investors are cautioned not to place undue reliance on these forward-looking statements, which speak only as of the date hereof. iRobot Corporation undertakes no obligation to update or revise the information contained in this press release, whether as a result of new information, future events or circumstances or otherwise. For additional disclosure regarding these and other risks faced by iRobot Corporation, see the disclosure contained in our public filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission including, without limitation, our most recent Annual Report on Form 10-K.