Ocado faces legal battle over AutoStore patent infringement claims

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Ocado has responded to allegations that its technology platform infringes on patents owned by a Norwegian automation supplier.
AutoStore, founded in 1996, said in a statement yesterday that it had filed lawsuits in the US and UK over the Ocado Smart Platform, which it says infringes on several of its patents. It gave examples such as the fundamental central cavity design of the AS/RS robots, the lifting mechanism allowing robots to lift and place bins in their cavities; and the robots’ in-wheel motors.

The filings seek to win financial damages and block Ocado, founded in 2000, from manufacturing or selling its products.

Karl Johan Lier, CEO and President of AutoStore, said: “Our ownership of the technology at the heart of Ocado’s warehousing system is clear. We will not tolerate Ocado’s continued infringement of our intellectual property rights in its effort to boost its growth and attempt to transform itself into a global technology company.”

In an emailed statement, Ocado said it had not received any papers in relation to AutoStore’s claim.

“We are not aware of any infringement of any valid Autostore rights and of course we will investigate any claims once we receive further details.”

“We have multiple patents protecting the use of our systems in grocery and we are investigating whether Autostore has, or intends to infringe those patents. We will always vigorously protect our intellectual property.”

Pictured: An Ocado-powered distribution centre

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