Ocado wins UK patent lawsuit over AutoStore

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Left autostore, right ocado

On the left, AutoStore’s ASRS, and on the fitting, Ocado’s ASRS. | Supply: AutoStore, Ocado

Yesterday, the UK Excessive Court docket dominated that AutoStore’s patents, which have been the topic of a patent infringement case in opposition to Ocado, have been invalid, and that Ocado didn’t infringe upon them. Each AutoStore and Ocado function automated storage and retrieval programs (ASRS) that function on related rules.

AutoStore filed the lawsuit in October 2020, when it asserted that Ocado infringed upon six of its patents. The European Patent Workplace invalidated two of those patents earlier than judgment was made on the case, and two different patents have been withdrawn by AutoStore earlier than the listening to began. 

Decide Hacon invalidated the remaining two patents as a result of AutoStore had disclosed its expertise publically in a enterprise cope with the Central Financial institution of Russia earlier than the corporate filed its patents. Halcon dominated that even when the patents have been legitimate, the Ocado Sensible Platform (OSP) didn’t infringe on them. The choose additionally dominated that OSP didn’t infringe upon the patents that AutoStore selected to withdraw from the case. 

An Ocado spokesperson mentioned, “As we now have mentioned constantly because the day the motion was launched that we didn’t infringe any legitimate AutoStore patents. As soon as once more a choose has proved we’re proper. And we now have been proved proper by courts each within the US and the UK. Autostore’s resolution to sue us has been a whole waste of time – for us and them – and can now even be an extra waste of cash for them as we intend to hunt a major prices order in opposition to them.”

“This complete misguided train by AutoStore has merely served to indicate that it’s Ocado that’s the innovation manufacturing unit with strong processes in place to guard and respect IP. Our achievement facilities can freely function in mild of this judgment. And though AutoStore offered this litigation to the market as a one-way wager – both they might win or “the established order can be maintained”, the precise end result of the litigation is {that a} important variety of their patent belongings are being invalidated, their patent portfolio has been decreased and their IP has been weakened. Actions proceed in opposition to AutoStore in Germany and the US for infringement of Ocado IP rights. The danger of infringement is now with AutoStore.”

In December 2021, AutoStore misplaced the same patent infringement lawsuit filed with the Worldwide Commerce Fee (ITC). US ITC Decide Charles Bullock dominated three of AutoStore’s patents concerned within the case have been invalid, and that Ocado didn’t infringe upon the fourth patent within the trial. 

The ASRS programs from each corporations function on related storage and retrieval rules. Gadgets are saved in bins stacked in a grid and retrieved by cellular robots from above the stack.

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