Ocado Group plc (Ocado) and Norwegian warehouse automation company AutoStore have announced that they have settled all litigation after the latter initiated proceedings back in 2020 with claims of intellectual property (IP) infringement.
The Norwegian company will now have to pay £200m to Ocado, which will be done in 24 monthly instalments, starting this month [July 2023].
Mats Hovland Vikse, CEO of AutoStore, said: “We are glad to have achieved a resolution that gives both companies opportunity and freedom to commercialise our extensive patent portfolios.
“This settlement resolves our differences and allows us to continue focusing on our respective business goals.”
Complete terms of the agreement are confidential, Ocado has confirmed, however both firms are now free to use and market their technology without risk of patent litigation from the other party.
However, as a result of the action, AutoStore is not permitted to develop or deploy “a single-space cavity robot” in any jurisdiction where Ocado has acquired patent protection.
While the agreement does not grant collaboration rights, assistance with technology or access to actual products, it does offer both parties access to part of the other’s patent portfolio “for them to use or develop their own products”.
Tim Steiner, CEO of Ocado Group plc, said: “I am pleased that we have worked together to resolve our differences and can now continue to focus on what we do best – innovating, developing and enabling partners to access world beating technology”
In a company statement, Ocado’s general counsel Neill Abrams added that the “litigation [had] ended on satisfactory terms”.
The ongoing litigation had impacted Ocado’s share prices, which showed an eight percent increase in early trading today [24 July] after the three-year legal challenge was resolved.