Ocado Group has seen off claims from a global rival “items retrieval” firm that alleged the British on-line retailer and expertise group had stolen a number of of its expertise innovations.
A Excessive Courtroom choose dominated that two patents held by the Norwegian firm had 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 had 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 attraction physique. AutoStore withdrew one other two claims simply earlier than the listening to within the UK litigation started and now a Excessive Courtroom choose 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 The choose additionally dominated that Ocado had not infringed the patents that AutoStore had withdrawn from the case.
When the declare was launched, AutoStore stated Ocado’s patent filings included “substantial technical info and supplies” that associated to robotic expertise. 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 stated it had been vindicated by courtroom rulings in each Britain and the US.
The spokesman for Ocado described the litigation as “a whole waste of time” and he confirmed that the retailer meant “to hunt a big prices order” towards the Norwegian firm. “This complete misguided train by AutoStore has merely served to point out that it’s Ocado that’s the innovation manufacturing unit, with sturdy processes in place to guard and respect mental property,” he stated.
In a press release after the ruling, AutoStore said that it “disagrees with the courtroom’s resolution, particularly on condition that the technical boards of attraction of the European Patent Workplace upheld one of many patents in challenge as legitimate just some weeks in the past”.
Shares in Ocado, which designs and licenses its warehouse supply methods worldwide, closed up 49¼p, or 10.3 per cent, at 527¼p.