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Ocado’s strategy of selling its grocery ecommerce knowhow worldwide is under threat after a Norwegian rival has claimed the company has copied its technology and infringed its patents.
AutoStore, a developer of warehouse automation systems, on Thursday filed legal claims in the UK and US courts alleging that the Ocado Smart Platform (OSP) infringed several AutoStore patents.
OSP is the integrated hardware and software system that Ocado is busy marketing to food retailers around the world, and its prospects underpin the company’s £20bn market value.
Ocado shares were down 5 per cent in early afternoon trading. The claim does not stipulate an amount for damages but court documents state that it will be for more than £10m.
AutoStore said the design of the robots that pick grocery orders from within a “hive” warehouse, along with the lifting mechanism and the in-wheel motors, are covered by patents granted to it in
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NEDRE VATS, Norway, Oct. 1, 2020 /PRNewswire/ — AutoStore, the pioneer and global leader in automated storage and retrieval systems (AS/RS), today filed patent infringement lawsuits in the United States and the United Kingdom against the UK FTSE 100-listed online grocery retailer and technology company, Ocado Group Plc.
AutoStore is seeking court orders barring Ocado and its partner, Tharsus Group (of Blyth, UK), from manufacturing, importing, using and selling technology that infringes AutoStore’s patents, as well as monetary damages. Ocado has signed agreements with retailers such as Kroger (US), Marks & Spencer (UK), and Morrisons (UK) that rely on the continued infringement of AutoStore’s intellectual property.
AutoStore has filed complaints in the following tribunals:
- The US International Trade Commission, seeking an exclusion order preventing the importation of Ocado’s infringing products into the United States;
- The US District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia, seeking an injunction against, among other