Automation

AutoStore files entitlement action against Ocado Group

AutoStore has confirmed it has filed an entitlement action in the UK to confirm it is the inventor and rightful owner of certain patents filed by Ocado Group.

The action is believed to have been filed by the Intellectual Property Office of the United Kingdom, which is the standard procedure before transfer to the High Court of England & Wales.

Ocado Group has denied that any infringements of AutoStore’s rights have occurred.

The storage company’s action concerns certain patents filed by Ocado, going back to June 2014, relating to the methods and systems for controlling the movement of robots in AS/RS systems, including the Ocado Smart Platform.

In October, AutoStore filed complaints against Ocado Group in both the UK and USA.

Karl Johan Lier, chief executive of AutoStore, said: “Ocado took advantage of being our customer and having access to AutoStore’s market-leading technology and then attempted to assert ownership over what it had learned from AutoStore by filing its own patents.

“In addition to the action we’ve already taken to protect and assert our existing patents, this action will establish that AutoStore invented these technologies and should therefore be recognised as the rightful owner of Ocado’s corresponding patents.”

Responding to the complaints in October, an Ocado spokesperson said: “We have a team dedicated to the correct preservation of our intellectual property. 

“We are currently investigating whether AutoStore has or intends to infringe those patents. We will always vigorously protect our intellectual property and are considering all options in this regard.”

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