iRobot's soap-opera-esque trade secret and patent lawsuits against rival Robotic FX entered a new phase last night, as the US District Court in Boston handed down a preliminary injunction preventing Robot FX from acting on a $279M contract to build Negotiator robots for the Department of Defense. Saying that Robotic FX CEO Jameel Ahed's admissions that he'd destroyed evidence "profoundly undermined" his credibility, the judge ruled that there was enough of a likelihood that iRobot would win its trade secret case to warrant an injunction -- the idea being to keep Robotic FX from gaining any benefits from a possible theft. The judge didn't make the exact terms of the injunction public, but she did order a trial to begin no later than April 4 -- which means there's still a lot of drama to come.

[Thanks, Jonas]

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iRobot wins injunction against Robotic FX