US robot manufacturer iRobot has filed two law suits alleging competitor Robotic Fx copied its designs and violated patent laws.

iRobot alleges Robotic Fx’s Negotiator robot misuses iRobot’s PackBot’s proprietary design, according to media reports.

PackBot and the Negotiator are both 50lb improvised explosive device-detecting, remote controlled robots.

PackBot has been used by the US Army and Marine Corps since 2002.

One lawsuit filed in a northern Alabama district court alleges patent infringement, whilst the second, filed in the Massachusetts Superior Court charges Robotic Fx founder Jameel Ahed with misappropriation and misuse of confidential information relating to the PackBot.

Ahed worked for iRobot as an intern in 1999, before being hired as a full-time employee in 2000.

iRobot is seeking a permanent injunction to prevent Robotic Fx selling the Negotiator, plus damages.