Is this legal???!!!

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Is this legal???!!!

Postby Nichrobe » March 4th, 2019, 5:07 pm

I saw this little black and decker robot vacuum on the Facebook marketplace and underneath it looks EXACTLY like the original Roomba through the Roomba pro elite do I decided to look it up and you can't buy it anywhere they may have gotten sued or somthing but I found some pictures so here...

Screen Shot 2019-03-04 at 3.58.17 PM.png
the filter looks like It could even fit on my Roomba pro!
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Re: Is this legal???!!!

Postby babakonda » March 4th, 2019, 8:17 pm

I’d guess someone is selling Roomba Elite Pro and just named it wrongly. Or used the wrong image taken from google.
Try locating that exact black&decker model. From what I see, none looks similar.
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Re: Is this legal???!!!

Postby Nichrobe » March 4th, 2019, 9:39 pm

]this is what the top of it looks like this was sold at Walmart its not exactly like the Roomba pro but a clear rip off.

Screen Shot 2019-03-04 at 3.58.31 PM.png
the lack and decker top view


Screen Shot 2019-03-04 at 3.58.31 PM.png
the lack and decker top view



you can see super similar on the bottom but completely different on the top
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Screen Shot 2019-03-04 at 8.35.30 PM.png
bottom of a Roomba pro elite
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Re: Is this legal???!!!

Postby Brett » March 4th, 2019, 9:54 pm

"Legal" is sadly not a black and white question any more. That is one of a myriad of Roomba rip-offs that come out of China. Surprisingly some well-known brands attach their name to these (otherwise exactly the same as other generically branded units) - Black&Decker and Hoover, take a bow!

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Re: Is this legal???!!!

Postby drunkpenguin » March 4th, 2019, 11:06 pm

If we are being honest, aren't all other robots roomba rip offs?
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Re: Is this legal???!!!

Postby Nichrobe » March 4th, 2019, 11:59 pm

yea kinda but this looks almost EXACTLY like the Roomba pro
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Re: Is this legal???!!!

Postby RTC » March 5th, 2019, 1:05 pm

Well, at least it is not what was happening with the Apple ][ computer (which forced Apple to get its large and expensive legal department): several companies selling Apple ][ clones (cloning a product is not illegal, as long as you do your own engineering work) took the shortcut of simply buying an Apple ][, removing the parts from the circuit board, and photocopying it to create their own artwork and copying the ROM contents. This is a violation of copyright law and Apple easily proved it because some of these companies did not even bother to remove the Apple copyright notice (although showing the boards were identical trace for trace and the ROM contents were identical bit for bit was sufficient to prove copyright violation).

This lawsuit is a large part of the reason Apple products are noticeably more expensive than others, Apple maintains to this day a large internal legal department to protect their business interests (which they must pay for).

Later Apple also sued over GUI "look and feel", but the major effect of this settlement was that buttons (e.g. the closer, the maximizer) could not be placed in the same location (e.g. MacOS on the left, Windows on the right) although it did kill Digital Research as it limited their GUI to only two fixed sized nonmovable windows (one on the left and one on the right). But as all GUIs are already clones of the Xerox Alto's GUI, Apple was obviously not going to be able to prevent other companies from using them. "Look and feel" is a very hazy legal area.

This also caused some companies to add small nonfunctional "dead circuits" to hardware and "dead code" to software to make it easier to prove illegal copying: independent engineering would not reproduce them while illegal blind copying would retain them unaltered. It also makes reverse engineering more difficult.
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Re: Is this legal???!!!

Postby patenttranslator » March 20th, 2019, 2:24 pm

For a little more background on this, back in 2017, B&D settled with iRobot and agreed to exit the market after selling off its remaining inventory of robotic vacuums.

That seems to have been a good move: in December, the International Trade Commission issued a Notice of Final Determination to exclude the substantially identical Bobsweep and Hoover Quest vacuums from the US market, as infringing on iRobot's US Patent 9,038,233.

Not clear to me whether people who have purchased these vacuums will have access to replacement parts, batteries, etc. (unless they really are so similar to the original Roomba that they can use the same parts). I've seen these brands on sale in local stores lately, but not at the markdowns you would expect under these circumstances.
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