iRobot filed lawsuits in federal court in Boston against Hoover, Black & Decker, Bobsweep and Bissell Homecare. IRobot said they infringe on several of its patents covering the idea of an autonomous floor-cleaning robot.
“iRobot will not stand by while others offer products that infringe on our intellectual property,” the company said in a statement.
IRobot launched Roomba in 2002 but has faced increased competition from other appliance makers.
Residential robotic vacuums sucked up $1.5 billion in global revenues in 2016, an amount expected to reach $2.5 billion by the end of 2021. The overall market for household vacuums was $12 billion in 2015.