Ocado soars on £200m Autostore patent battle settlement

Ocado shares have surged following revelations it has secured £200m in its patent battle against a Norwegian rival.

It was announced on Saturday that AutoStore would pay the sum to settle all outstanding patent litigation claims launched by the warehouse technology pioneers.

Ocado, which also has a separate retail arm in partnership with Marks and Spencer, and Autostore had been engaged in numerous legal battles in different countries to defend their intellectual property.

The firms, which license their robot technology to retailers all over the world, said each could continue to use and market all their own existing products without challenge as part of the settlement.

The full terms remain confidential but the agreement does grant access to both the companies to certain portions of each other’s patent portfolios for manufacturing purposes.

While Ocado retains exclusive rights to the Single Space Robot, it rules out, however, collaboration and technology support between the companies.

The patent battle, started by Autostore in 2020, had proved a drag on the Ocado share price but it was up 8% in early trading on Monday – the market’s first opportunity to react to the weekend’s news.

Ocado chief executive Tim Steiner 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”.

Autostore has two years to pay the £200m owed via instalments.

Its boss, Mats Hovland Vikse, added: “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.”

You might also like...