Ocado’s co-founder calls “corporate espionage” claims “ludicrous” as legal battle escalates further

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Ocado’s co-founder Jonathan Faiman has hit back at his former company after it accused him of corporate espionage and conspiracy last week.

“Ocado’s use of terms like ‘espionage’ is ludicrous and symptomatic of their approach,” Today Development Partners (TPD), Faiman’s new company at the centre of the escalating legal dispute, said in response to last week’s legal accusations.

“As we set out in court papers, we believe they are using exaggerated allegations to justify a disproportionate attack,” the spokesperson added.

This comes as Ocado’s chairman Lord Rose of Monewden said yesterday that his company would “go to any lengths” to protect its intellectual property.

READ MORE: Ocado sues its own co-founder in bitter legal dispute worth “hundreds of millions”

He added: “Anyone who reads the court submissions will appreciate how serious this issue is. This is corporate espionage. We have been subject to corporate theft.”

Faiman left the online grocer, which provides delivery services to third party retailers, in 2010 to set up his own rival to Ocado, TDP.

According to Ocado, Faiman illegally obtained confidential documents in order to set up his new venture and secure delivery deals with both M&S and Waitrose “in surreptitious circumstances which those involved must have known to be unlawful”.

These documents were obtained by TPD after it hired senior and long-serving Ocado employee Jon Hillary.

Despite this escalating legal battle between the two companies, Ocado’s shares have closed 6p higher at £13.12 yesterday as traders brushed off the accusations levelled against the tech-powered grocer.

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