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Corporate News Blog - iRobot Patent Dispute with Taiwan's Micro-Star International Ends Amicably in a Settlement

LONDON, UK / ACCESSWIRE / September 18, 2017 / Pro-Trader Daily takes a look at the latest corporate events and news making the headlines for iRobot Corp. (NASDAQ: IRBT), following which we have published a free report that can be viewed by signing up at http://protraderdaily.com/optin/?symbol=IRBT. The consumer robot Company announced on September 2017 that it has reached a confidential agreement with Micro-Star International Co., Ltd ("MSI"), a Taiwanese computer and component manufacturer. The agreement puts an end to the patent dispute between the Companies regarding use of certain consumer robotic technologies by MSI in manufacturing robotic cleaning products. For immediate access to our complimentary reports, including today's coverage, register for free now at:


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The Confidential Agreement

As per the agreement between iRobot and MSI, MSI has agreed to completely exit from the robotic cleaning industry worldwide. MSI also has agreed to pay an unannounced sum to iRobot as compensation. In turn, iRobot has agreed to remove Hoover Quest 600, 700, and 800 products that are sold /distributed by Hoover, Inc. from the current investigation by the US International Trade Commission (ITC). However, iRobot has clarified that the ITC's investigation will continue with regards to product Hoover Quest 1000 and products from Bissell Homecare, Inc., bObsweep, Inc., bObsweep USA, the Black & Decker Corporation, Black & Decker (US) Inc., Shenzhen ZhiYi Technology Co., Ltd, Matsutek Enterprises Co., Ltd, and Shenzhen Silver Star Intelligent Technology Co., Ltd. The evidentiary hearing for ITC's investigation is scheduled in March 2018.

None of the companies have disclosed the financial aspects or other terms of the confidential agreement.

Commenting on the settlement, Glen Weinstein, Executive Vice President and Chief Legal Officer, iRobot said:

"This settlement represents the first successful milestone on the enforcement effort iRobot initiated earlier this year. Since being founded more than 25 years ago, iRobot has made significant investments in R&D and intellectual property to innovate and bring consumer robotic technologies to market worldwide. The agreement by MSI to exit the robotic cleaning industry signifies the value of iRobot's intellectual property and the Company's efforts to protect it."


In April 2017, iRobot had filed a lawsuit with the Court in District of Massachusetts in the US for patent infringement against multiple robotic vacuum cleaner manufacturers and sellers. These included Companies like Bissell, Hoover, bObsweep, iLife, Black & Decker, and other Chinese and Taiwanese Companies who manufactured robotic vacuum cleaners. iRobot's contention is that these manufacturers have infringed on six of the Company's patents and has appealed to the ITC to investigate and then permanently ban the infringing products from entering the US markets.

In May 2017, the Company confirmed that the ITC would be conducting a Patent Infringement Investigation in the above matter. ITC's job is to determine if the above-named Companies have infringed the Company's six patents. If the ITC's investigation finds that these Companies have indeed infringed on the iRobot's six patents, it can issue an exclusion order to halt the importation of the infringing products as well as a cease-and-desist order to stop the sale and marketing of the infringing products into the US.

An investigation by ITC usually takes years before being brought to trial.

About iRobot

Bedford, Massachusetts-based iRobot was founded in 1990 by Massachusetts Institute of Technology roboticists with the vision of making practical robots a reality. It is a leading global consumer robot Company which designs and builds robots that empower people to do more both inside and outside of the home. iRobot's products include the award-winning Roomba® Vacuuming Robot and the Braava® family of mopping robots. The Company builds robots that feature proprietary technologies and advanced concepts in cleaning, mapping, and navigation.

iRobot's continued innovation in the field of robotics has resulted in a growing patent portfolio that currently includes more than 300 issued US patents and more than 900 issued patents worldwide. This IP (intellectual property) portfolio has been ranked in the top ten in the Electronics Division by the IEEE patent power scorecard for each of the past three years. The Company has sold more than 20 million robots worldwide. iRobot's engineers are now working on building an ecosystem of robots and data to enable the smart home.

The Company has a global presence with offices in Pasadena, California; London, UK; Shanghai and Guangzhou in China; Hong Kong; and Tokyo, Japan. iRobot generated revenue of $661 million in FY16.

In July 2017, iRobot had acquired privately-held Lyon, France-based Robopolis SAS, an exclusive distributor of iRobot product. The acquisition would help the Company to expand its footprint across Germany, Spain, France, Belgium, Austria, the Netherlands, and Portugal. Earlier in April 2017, the Company had closed the acquisition of Tokyo, Japan-based privately held Sales on Demand Corporation. The acquisition would allow iRobot to maintain its leadership position and accelerate the growth of its business in Japan.

Last Close Stock Review

On Friday, September 15, 2017, the stock closed the trading session at $79.81, falling 2.49% from its previous closing price of $81.85. A total volume of 2.63 million shares have exchanged hands, which was higher than the 3-month average volume of 1.06 million shares. iRobot's stock price skyrocketed 34.22% in the past six months and 95.52% in the previous twelve months. Furthermore, since the start of the year, shares of the Company have soared 36.54%. The stock is trading at a PE ratio of 39.01. At Friday's closing price, the stock's net capitalization stands at $2.27 billion.

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