Monday, October 22, 2007, 10/22/2007 02:40:00 PM

Trade Secrets for Bomb Detecting Robots - The United States Attorney Gets Involved

By Todd
Declaring that “the lives of soldiers presently at war in Iraq and Afghanistan” could be placed in peril, the federal government has injected itself into the legal battle between iRobot and Robotic FX—asking a U.S. District Court judge in Massachusetts on the brink of this morning’s hearing not to let iRobot’s efforts to win a preliminary injunction against its rival’s operations delay the shipment of bomb-detecting robots to the Middle East.

If an injunction is issued against Robotic FX, which on Friday beat out iRobot to win a $279.9 million contract to deliver robots to the military, “soldiers will certainly be placed in life-threatening situations when a safer alternative exists,” the U.S. Attorney’s office declared in yesterday’s filing. A second filing, a declaration from U.S. Marine Corps Colonel Edward Ward of the military’s Robotic Systems Joint Project Office, echoed the U.S. attorney’s statement. Improvised explosive devices, or IEDs, are “the number one cause of Soldier and Marine casualties,” Ward said. “If these systems are not sent to the Theater in the most expedient manner, a far greater number of Soldiers and Marines will be placed in danger…”

The excellent reporting on this lawsuit and the legal maneuverings therein comes from XConomy and Robert Buderi. Click on the various postings and you'll learn alot about interesting this matter.

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