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Black & Decker to stop sale of robotic vacuums amid iRobot dispute

Massachusetts-based robotics company iRobot Corp. said Dec. 18 that it reached an agreement with The Black & Decker Corp., a subsidiary of industrial machinery producer Stanley Black & Decker Inc., in which Black & Decker will discontinue sales of all home robotic vacuums "for a certain period of time."

The development follows a patent infringement complaint filed by iRobot to the U.S. International Trade Commission in May on certain robotic vacuum cleaning devices and spare parts. Black & Decker was included in the list of respondents in the investigation.

Under the agreement, Black & Decker will be dropped from the list of companies included in the probe.

The remaining terms of the settlement are confidential, according to the release.

Other companies included in the ITC investigation are Bissell Homecare Inc., bObsweep Inc., bObsweep USA Hoover, Shenzhen ZhiYi Technology Co. Ltd., Matsutek Enterprises Co. Ltd. and Shenzhen Silver Star Intelligent Technology Co. Ltd. An evidentiary hearing is scheduled for March 2018, the robotics company said.