AutoStore to appeal in U.S. court over patent row with Ocado

FILE PHOTO: "Bots" are seen on the grid of the "smart platform" at the Ocado CFC (Customer Fulfilment Centre) in Andover, Britain May 1, 2018. Picture taken May 1, 2018. REUTERS/Peter Nicholls/File Photo

March 11, 2022

(Reuters) – Norwegian warehouse robot maker AutoStore on Thursday said it intends to appeal in a U.S. federal court an International Trade Commission’s (ITC) decision on an ongoing patent row with British rival Ocado Group.

The companies, which provide storage technology to the online shopping industry, have for years been locked in a series of legal battles over intellectual property (IP) rights.

The Commission on Thursday affirmed ITC Chief Administrative Law Judge’s initial decision from December, which held three of the four AutoStore patents as invalid and said that the fourth one was not infringed by Ocado. Another patent case between the two rivals is ongoing in Britain.

“We welcome the ITC’s decision, which comprehensively confirms the judge’s original findings last December,” Ocado said in an emailed statement.

Ocado did not comment on AutoStore’s decision to appeal.

AutoStore also said that it will discontinue its appeal in the European Patent Office (EPO) in Germany since the “patent is no longer relevant to AutoStore’s UK infringement case.”

(Reporting by Akriti Sharma in Bengaluru; Additional reporting by Shubham Kalia; Editing by Chris Reese, Bernard Orr and Kenneth Maxwell)