Ocado loses major court battle against rival AutoStore as patent infringement case heats up

Automation

Ocado has lost its latest court battle with AutoStore, which is suing the online grocery giant for patent infringement over its trademark automated warehouse systems.

A London judge has ruled against Ocado after it requested an injunction which would prevent certain information being used in a separate patent infringement case in the US, Bloomberg reported.

AutoStore launched a major lawsuit against Ocado in October last year, claiming that its robotic warehouse picking systems, on which a large portion of its business is based, were built using its designs.

Ocado is due to face a hearing at the US International Trade Commission (ITC) in August this year in which the court will determine if it can continue to sell its goods in the country.

The online grocer had tried to prevent AutoStore from referring to discussions the pair held regarding patent disputes back in 2018 during the hearing.

READ MORE: Ocado ordered to stop selling robotic technology amid major patent dispute

However, Judge Richard Hacon ruled that ITC’s judge “is better placed to decide what evidence should be admitted in his own court than is an English judge in an interim hearing.”

Ocado responded to the ruling, branding the judge “wrong” and stating it remained “confident that at the full hearing we will be successful in our case”.

Meanwhile a spokesperson for AutoStore said: “Ocado’s injunction application was another misconceived defensive tactic in response to the legal actions we’ve taken to protect our valuable proprietary technology.”

AutoStore has accused Ocado of building its signature ‘Smart Platform’ system, which uses automated robots to move goods around its facilities, on its own technology which it first supplied to Ocado in 2012.

The Norwegian tech company has since filed several patent infringement cases against Ocado.

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