iRobot to competitors: You patent infringers

iRobot, the Bedford-based maker of cat-transportation devices that double as vacuums yesterday unleashed a barrage of lawsuits against other vacuum makers, accusing them of sucking out the good stuff in iRobot patents to make their own brands of floor cleaners.

iRobot filed suits in US District Court in Boston against Bissell, Hoover, Black and Decker, Bobsweep, Shenzen Zhiyi Technology and Matsutek Enterprises, accusing them all of violating several iRobot patents that cover basic roundish robotic vacuums in general and robot obstacle detection in particular.

iRobot is seeking unspecified large penalties plus royalties for future sales of the allegedly offending devices.

Complete iRobot complaint against Bissell (1.4M PDF).

The Times hears the outraged Southie howls

The Times Food Section reports it's heard South Boston residents loud and clear and has updated the online version of its profile of Barbara Lynch to say she is "a fierce daughter of Southie" rather than "a fierce Southie."

Of course, being the Times, it's hard to admit an error and the Paper of Record says Lynch herself called herself a Southie and that "it's an old-school term."

H/t Drew Starr.

Thieving Suffolk Law student pleads guilty to tampering with court records

David Scher, a former Suffolk Law student, today pleaded guilty to trying to alter court documents to try to change his Guilty finding for stealing a laptop from the school to Not Guilty, the Suffolk County District Attorney's office. reports.

Scher was sentenced to 2 1/2 years in jail, but will only have to serve a year in jail as long as he stays out of trouble for two years after his release, the DA's office says.

Scher, who received a suspended sentence for laptop theft in 2014, was indicted last year on charges of tampering with a court document, forgery, perjury, and uttering a false document.

Prosecutors charged he requested his docket folder from the clerk's office - such folders are normally public records - changed the page reading "Guilty" to "Not Guilty" and then started using that finding in an attempt to rebuild his life. This included citing the document in an appeal to the Department of Criminal Justice Information Services to revise his record and at a hearing after his conviction on whether he left the scene of a car accident in violation of his suspended-sentence ruling.

Officials say Scher was undone by the fact that both the Department of Criminal Justice Information Services and the Probation Department now keep records electronically, in addition to relying on paper records held in courthouse storage.

Two city managers announce runs for Sal LaMattina's council seat reports that Stephen Passacantilli of the North End and Lydia Edwards of East Boston say they're running for the District 1 council seat (North End, East Boston, Charlestown) that Sal LaMattina is not running for again this year.

Like LaMattina in his pre-council days, Passacantilli is a manager for the Boston Transportation Department. Unlike LaMattina, he probably has not had himself rammed with a Segway on purpose.

Edwards is currently director of the Boston Office of Housing Stability.

Roslindale to lose its only office-supply store

Stacy Eblan reports on the Quirky Roslindale Message Board that the Staples on Washington Street is closing on June 11.

The store opened in 2008 in a new building where the Ashmont Home Center used to be. Between Ashmont and Staples came several proposals that never got anywhere, including a chain drug store - stopped by Tom Menino himself to protect the nearby Sullivan's Pharmacy - and a self-storage place.

Boston cop, former MMA fighter to get chance to convince jury he's recovered enough from repeated head injuries to get gun back

The Supreme Judicial Court today ordered a trial for Police Officer Sean Gannon, who has been restricted to a gunless desk job since 2005, when the Boston Police Department decided repeated injuries from getting punched or kicked in the head as a mixed-martial-arts battler - including in one infamous bare-knuckle brawl - had left him without the capacity to react appropriately in an emergency, especially one that might involve the use of a gun.

Gannon, who assigned as a desk officer at District A-7 in East Boston, says his brain injuries are a handicap and that the department is therefore discriminating against him - and rejecting his argument that, in any case, he has, too, recovered sufficiently from those injuries to walk a beat again.

In its ruling, the state's highest court was not siding with Gannon, but said that the decision on whether the BPD or Gannon is correct is best left to a jury to decide. A lower-court judge had ruled in favor of Boston, saying the city had proven a "good faith belief" in the conclusions of a psychiatrist and a neuropsychologist who had examined Gannon, but the SJC said a jury should be allowed to hear from Gannon's own psychiatrist and neuropsychologist, who said Gannon's mental abilities had improved dramatically after several years.

Man charged with chomping cop trying to get him to pay his bar bill at East Boston eatery

Sun, 03/12/2017 - 17:15

A man who didn't want to pay his $60.46 bar bill at Taco Mex in Maverick Square last month sent a BPD officer to Mass. General after biting him in the arm, police say. Read more.


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Giving his father a Viking sendoff

Greg Cook and some friends gathered on a North Shore beach last night to honor the memory of Cook's father on the first anniversary of his death:

My Dad was a community college teacher who raced sailboats on weekends for years.

He sometimes talked of hoping to have a Viking Funeral.

I spent a couple days building the boat out of cardboard and paper and glue and string and tape.

(No human remains.) It was about 4-feet-long.