Ocado wins £200m after settling patent dispute with Norwegian rival

Ocado is to be paid £200 million by Norwegian company AutoStore, after winning a three-year long ‘robot wars’ legal battle.

The online supermarket said it has settled their long-running dispute over robot patents which first started in 2020, when AutoStore tried to protect six patents that it said Ocado had breached, launching a legal battle.

Under the new settlement, AutoStore will now pay the retailer £200m in 24 monthly instalments starting in July 2023.

In a joint statement released on Saturday, both companies said they are withdrawing their actions against each other and have reached a deal in which both sides have freedom to access and use technology covered by each other’s pre-2020 patents.

A High Court judge ruled in March that AutoStore’s “patents were invalid” and Ocado did not infringe them.

While the full terms of the settlement are confidential, both firms are allowed to continue to use and market their existing products without challenge of infringement of the other’s post-2020 patents.

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It adds that the automated store is not permitted to make or use a single-space cavity robot in any jurisdiction where Ocado has patent protection.

The deal also gives access to part of each company’s patent portfolio for them to use or develop their own products, but there will be no collaboration or technology assistance between them.

Ocado Group chief executive Tim Steiner said: “I am pleased that we have worked together to resolve our differences and can now continue to focus on what we do best – innovating, developing and enabling partners to access world beating technology”.

AutoStore chief executive Mats Hovland Vikse said: “We are glad to have achieved a resolution that gives both companies opportunity and freedom to commercialise our extensive patent portfolios.”



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