The High Court has found in favour of Ocado in its widely followed dispute with Autostore.
In one of The Lawyer’s Top 20 cases of 2021, Norwegian company Autostore alleged that various aspects of Ocado’s automated warehouse robot system infringed the UK designations of two European patents owned by Autostore. Ocado’s defences included that the patents were invalid due to prior non-confidential disclosures to two parties based in Russia, including the Central Bank of Russia.
In a substantial Judgment, the High Court has accepted this case, holding that (i) the applicable law of the relevant disclosures should be determined in accordance with the Rome II Regulation, (ii) the obligations of both Russian recipients of the relevant information were governed by Russian law, and (iii) no obligation of confidence was owed by either of those recipients under Russian law. Autostore’s patents were accordingly held invalid.
James Segan KC appeared for Ocado, arguing its case on the foreign law and confidentiality issues.
The judgment can be found here.