Ocado wins robot wars patent case against AutoStore in High Court

Ocado Group has seen off claims from a global rival “items retrieval” firm that alleged the British on-line retailer and know-how group had stolen a number of of its know-how innovations.

A Excessive Court docket decide dominated that two patents held by the Norwegian firm have been invalid and that, regardless, Ocado had not infringed them.

In its declare introduced in 2020, AutoStore initially asserted its rights over six patents towards Ocado, of which two have been invalidated by the European Patent Workplace earlier than the judgment yesterday in London. A call on a type of two was overturned within the Norwegians’ favour by the patent workplace’s enchantment physique. AutoStore withdrew one other two claims simply earlier than the listening to within the UK litigation started and now a Excessive Court docket decide has invalidated the remaining two patents.

Within the ruling, Choose Richard Hacon discovered that even when he had not invalidated the final two patents, the British firm had not infringed them. The decide additionally dominated that Ocado had not infringed the patents that AutoStore had withdrawn from the case.

When the declare was launched, AutoStore mentioned Ocado’s patent filings included “substantial technical data and supplies” that associated to robotic know-how. AutoStore claimed it had supplied the data to Ocado “in good religion” between 2011 and 2012. Ocado strenuously denied that the corporate had stolen AutoStore’s mental property.

After yesterday’s ruling, a spokesman for the retailer mentioned it had been vindicated by court docket rulings in each Britain and the US.

The spokesman for Ocado described the litigation as “an entire waste of time” and he confirmed that the retailer meant “to hunt a major prices order” towards the Norwegian firm. “This whole misguided train by AutoStore has merely served to point out that it’s Ocado that’s the innovation manufacturing facility, with strong processes in place to guard and respect mental property,” he mentioned.

In an announcement after the ruling, AutoStore acknowledged that it “disagrees with the court docket’s choice, particularly on condition that the technical boards of enchantment of the European Patent Workplace upheld one of many patents in situation as legitimate only a few weeks in the past”.

Shares in Ocado, which designs and licenses its warehouse supply programs worldwide, closed up 49¼p, or 10.3 per cent, at 527¼p.

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