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SharkNinja Largely Prevails in Initial Determination in Patent Case Brought by iRobot

SharkNinja Prevails on Key Patents, Winning Entirely on its Key Product Lines; SharkNinja is Prepared for all Possible Outcomes

SharkNinja Operating LLC, a subsidiary of JS Global, an innovation leader in the consumer floorcare industry, announced that the International Trade Commission issued its Initial Determination in an ongoing patent case brought by iRobot Corp. (iRobot) against SharkNinja, largely in SharkNinja’s favor. The Initial Determination, issued by the Administrative Law Judge, found for SharkNinja, and against iRobot, on two of the four remaining patents asserted by iRobot, and one claim of the remaining two patents. None of SharkNinja’s top-selling AI Ultra products and none of SharkNinja’s auto-empty robot products were found to infringe any valid patent claim. The Initial Determination found for iRobot on certain claims of two patents, which were asserted against a small subset of SharkNinja’s product line. The Initial Determination is non-final, and is subject to review by the International Trade Commission, which should be completed by the beginning of February 2023.

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SharkNinja is pleased with the outcome of the Initial Determination with respect to the issues on which it prevailed. SharkNinja’s key product lines, including its AI Ultra robot products and auto-empty robot products, were cleared of infringement of any valid patent claim. While SharkNinja is disappointed in the outcome on the certain claims of two patents on which iRobot prevailed, SharkNinja has prepared for all possible outcomes of this case, and does not expect any ultimate decision by the Commission to have any impact on its sales or business.

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In January 2021, iRobot filed its ITC complaint against SharkNinja, alleging infringement of five iRobot patents by SharkNinja’s robot vacuum products (one of which was dropped just before the hearing). Immediately upon receiving the complaint, SharkNinja began redesigning its products to avoid any possible argument of infringement. The Initial Determination agreed that the redesigned products that SharkNinja produced during the investigation do not infringe any of the asserted iRobot patents. SharkNinja has already begun manufacturing and selling the redesigned products, and is prepared to replace all current products with redesigned products in the event the Commission ultimately issues an exclusion order. The redesigned products are as good—and in some cases better—than the accused products in the case. SharkNinja expects no impact on customer satisfaction or sales.

SharkNinja takes intellectual property very seriously. The full Commission will review the Initial Determination and is expected to issue its final determination next year. SharkNinja is confident that these additional proceedings will ultimately reach successful conclusions, but regardless of the ultimate outcome, it will continue to provide the highest quality robotic vacuums at an extraordinary value and will continue to innovate to improve people’s lives.

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