OSLO, Jan 28 (Reuters) - A German court has halted
proceedings against warehouse robot maker AutoStore in
the company's latest patent row with British rival Ocado Group
, the Norwegian firm said in a statement on Friday.
Shares of AutoStore, which last month suffered a legal
in the United States in a lawsuit of its own against Ocado,
surged 15% in early Oslo trade before paring gains to trade up
2.4% at 0913 GMT.
The companies, both of which provide labour-saving storage
technology to the fast-growing online shopping industry, have
for years been locked in a series of legal battles https://www.reuters.com/article/uk-autostore-ocado-lawsuit-idUSKBN26M5VO
over intellectual property (IP) rights.
"The Munich District Court yesterday stayed proceedings
brought by Ocado for orders blocking the sale of AutoStore's B1
robot in Germany, noting that Ocado's utility model IP rights in
the action were likely to be invalid," AutoStore said.
"The court's view was that Ocado were trying to claim
technology they had not invented," it added.
Ocado was not immediately available for comment when
contacted by Reuters. The company's shares traded down 4.3% in
A third patent case between the two rivals is still ongoing
AutoStore, whose biggest owner is Japan's SoftBank,
went public in October and its shares initially rose sharply.
They have since fallen, however, partly as a result of the U.S.
legal setback, and is down 47% from its November peak.
(Reporting by Terje Solsvik in Oslo and James Davey in London;
editing by Jason Neely)