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Ocado defends uniqueness of technology

Ocado has responded to criticisms that its internally-developed technology, which it is building as a platform for international expansion, is not unique.

Last week, analysts at Redburn downgraded the online groceries retailer from 'buy' to 'sell' after it questioned the company's claims of being an innovative technology developer and its ability to be profitable. To back up its claims, Redburn said that it had found only one European patent, for a robot arm, belonging to Ocado in a patents database.

In a statement to ComputerworldUK, Ocado said: "There is often an 18-month delay in the patents register so not all the patents being filed by Ocado show up. There are around 14 in Ocado's case that the Redburn analyst would not have seen."

According to the Financial Times, Redburn said that the robot arm "appears to sit on top of" an automation system called Autostore from automation systems provider Swisslog. Ocado argued that this did not mean that its technology was not unique.

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