AutoStore has said it has filed an entitlement action in the UK to confirm that it is the inventor and rightful owner of certain patents filed by Ocado Group.
It said that the action was filed in the Intellectual Property Office of the United Kingdom, the standard procedure before transfer to the High Court of England & Wales.
Ocado Group has consistently denied that any infringements of AutoStore’s rights has taken place.
In response aspokesperson from Ocado said: “We note the additional claims from AutoStore. Any suggestion that we have taken their IP is absurd. These inventions are ours and we will continue to defend our intellectual property by whatever means necessary. Ocado is entirely confident in the integrity of its Intellectual Property portfolio and the disciplined approach we have taken to building our capabilities and the Ocado Smart Platform over the past 20 years”.
The claim, said AutoStore, concerns certain patents filed by Ocado since June 2014 relating to the methods, systems and apparatus for controlling the movement of robots in AS/RS systems including the Ocado Smart Platform. AutoStore said that specifically, the patents related to optimising the placement of product within an AS/RS, and to certain safety features in such systems for bringing the robots to a halt.
Last month AutoStore filed complaints against Ocado in both the United Kingdom and United States. Ocado said, in response to the 1st October allegations that it did not believe any infringement of any valid AutoStore rights has taken place.
In a statement on its website Ocado Group 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.”
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.”