Online grocery giant Ocado has defeated Norwegian robotics firm AutoStore in the UK High Court, declaring the decision to be a ‘total victory’ for the company.
Shares in the company have jumped by as much as 25% since the case – which centres around accusations of patent infringement from AutoStore – was called in Ocado’s favour when the judge ruled that the claims asserted against it were invalid.
“As we have said consistently since the day the action was launched, we did not infringe any valid AutoStore patents,” Ocado said.
“Once again a judge has proved we are right. AutoStore’s decision to sue has been a complete waste of time – for us and them – and will now also be a further waste of money for them as we intend to seek a significant costs order.”
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Of the six patents being contested, two were invalidated by the European Patent Office before judgment was handed down, two were withdrawn by AutoStore shortly before the hearing started and the remaining two patents were invalidated by the High Court.
The court ruled that even had the patents not been invalidated, Ocado would still have not infringed them.
The battle between the two tech giants first began in 2020 when AutoStore said that the Ocado warehouse robots infringed six of its technology patents and took the group to court. However, the group was able to bat away those accusations
Ocado previously won similar proceedings in the US, where the International Trade Commission ruled that AutoStore’s patents were either invalid or not infringed.
Ocado has filed counterclaims against AutoStore, arguing that its Blackline robot and a software product called Router infringed its own patented intellectual property. These claims remain ongoing in Germany and the US.