Press | 13. Dec 2018

ROBART’s statement concerning the iRobots ITC patent case

Founders Michael Schahpar (CMO) and Harold Artés (CTO)

LINZ, Austria, EU, Dec. 13th, 2018 – The leading American home robot company iRobot Corporation sued several competitors, including the vacuum maker Hoover, in April 2017 at the U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC, Investigation No. 337-TA-1057) due to the alleged infringement of six of their patents.

This involved vacuum robots including artificial intelligence and navigation technology developed by the Austrian AI solution provider ROBART, such as the Hoover Rogue, which did not infringe on any of the patents. “The Final Determination on Nov. 30, 2018 demonstrates the opportunities for launching cleaning robots on the U.S. market without infringing iRobot’s patent rights,” summarizes ROBART’s CMO and Co-founder Michael Schahpar.



Statement Dr. Harold Artés

ROBART’s CTO and Co-Founder Dr. Harold Artés adds, “We welcome the final ruling by the ITC underlining the uniqueness of ROBART’s AI technology and confirming our visionary approach to becoming the leading technology provider for mobile service robots.”


Within the ITC investigation, four of the six patents were found invalid, non-infringing, or had to be withdrawn, among them fundamental patents for domestic home robots. Two of the four patents were related to ROBART technology. The first one, U.S. Patent No. 6,809,490, claiming details of iRobot’s navigation strategy, was invalidated. The second patent, U.S. Patent No. 9,486,924 related to user-robot-interaction via mobile phone, is not infringed by robots equipped with ROBART technology.


The two patents enforced by iRobot were either not relevant at all for ROBART navigation (U.S. Patent No. 8,600,553: Soft Bump Behavior), or could easily be resolved by a work-around (U.S. Patent No. 9,038,233: Positioning of cliff sensor and side brush). “This demonstrates the weak foundation of iRobot’s patent portfolio hidden behind an aggressive patent strategy,” said ROBART’s Intellectual Property Manager Dr. Reinhard Vogel.


Co-Founder Michael Schahpar explains

ROBART has been developing artificial intelligence and navigation for mobile robots since 2009. The core product is the ROBART navigation system consisting of software, electronics and IoT services. “Our customers – including leading home appliance manufacturers such as Hoover (USA), BSH, Rowenta, Kärcher or Medion – incorporate our market-ready technology into their products,” explained CMO and Co-Founder Michael Schahpar.


ROBART’s leading position in robotic artificial intelligence is the foundation for non-infringing technology. As Schahpar points out, “It is our main focus to provide certainty to our business customers. Our IP department is constantly monitoring third party rights and investing in our rapidly growing patent portfolio. We are therefore doing everything in our power to enable the best solution for our customers, to bring highly competitive products to the U.S. and worldwide markets, and to withstand iRobot’s aggressive patent strategy.”


  • Photo of ROBART’s founders Michael Schahpar (CMO) and Dr. Harold Artés (CTO)
In this article


ROBART为移动机器人开发人工智能和导航系统。 核心产品是ROBART导航系统,包括软件、电子器件和IoT服务。 主要客户包括领先的家用电器制造商,例如BSH,Rowenta,Kärcher或Medion,他们将我们的技术融入其产品中。 这家不断扩大的公司由Harold Artés和Michael Schahpar于2009年成立,已注册了70多项专利,并雇用了由70名高技能人员组成的国际团队。Robert Bosch风险投资集团,Innovacom和CMC-IC等知名投资者以及SEB联盟 SEB集团(包括Rowenta)的关联公司)正在支持该公司在全球市场的渗透。




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