iRobot Wins German Injunction Against Vacuum Cleaner Robots from Shenzhen Silver Star
May 15, 2014
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iRobot Corp., maker of robotic home appliances, received full affirmation of four preliminary injunctions against Chinese company Shenzhen Silver Star Intelligent Technology Company with the District Court of Dusseldorf.
The requests were based on the German parts of four European patents, EP 1 331 537 B1, EP 2 251 757 B1, EP 1 969 438 B1, and EP 1 395 888 B1.
Following the parties' full briefing and a hearing on infringement of the four patents, the District Court of Dusseldorf upheld the previously granted preliminary injunctions against Shenzhen Silver Star prohibiting the distribution of vacuum cleaner robot models XR210, M-H688, and M-788 within Germany.
iRobot said the District Court has affirmed that the question of infringement has been answered so clearly in favor of iRobot that it cannot be seriously expected that Shenzhen Silver Star will ultimately prevail in any subsequent main action proceedings on any of the patents.
Shenzhen Silver Star brought separate nullity actions against the four patents before the Federal Patent Court in Germany. The District Court's decisions, according to iRobot, reflect that Shenzhen Silver Star's challenges to patent validity were deemed insufficient to merit lifting any of the preliminary injunctions. Shenzhen Silver Star can appeal the Court's decision.
The same chamber of the District Court of Dusseldorf will hear the parties in a parallel lawsuit on the same patents versus Shenzhen Silver Star and three other companies involved in selling the Solac Ecogenic AA3400 in Germany.
The affirmation of the preliminary injunctions begins an enforcement phase in which, in addition to a cease and desist order, iRobot is entitled to assert a claim for information on importation of all such robots throughout Germany, to impound, and ultimately obtain a destruction order for such robots.
"iRobot has made significant investments to protect its intellectual property. As the worldwide leader in home robots, we intend to protect our investments with our patent portfolio by the appropriate means available domestically and abroad," said Colin Angle, chairman and chief executive officer of iRobot.
iRobot's patent portfolio contains more than 500 U.S. and International patents.
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