The American Lawyer’s Litigation Daily named Garrard Beeney, Marc De Leeuw and Dustin Guzior “Litigators of the Week” for using a creative, flip-the-script strategy that helped Ocado Group take a multi-front IP litigation threat initiated by rival AutoStore and turn those cases into multiple legal victories and a settlement widely reported in the press as a “win” for Ocado. In the days following the July 22 announcement of the resolution of this three-year litigation—which the press had dubbed the “Robot Wars”—the U.K. company’s stock rose 40 percent, adding more than $2.9 billion to the company’s market capitalization.
Under the settlement, AutoStore will pay more than $250 million to Ocado and Ocado retains exclusive rights to its Single Space Robot and certain technology critical to its leading-edge online grocery business. Each party will cross-license each other’s pre-2020 patents and both companies can continue to use and market all their own existing products without challenge.
In a Q&A with the Litigation Daily, Garrard, Marc and Dustin stressed the team approach that led to this result, including the efforts of associates and collaboration with the client. “One of the greatest strengths of our practice is our talented young lawyers,” said Marc. “We believe a key to our success generally is for all members of the team to ‘live’ the case, and that happened here.”
“We had an exceptional relationship with the client, and [Group General Counsel] Neill Abrams and [Chief Intellectual Property Counsel] Lucy Wojcik in particular,” said Dustin. “This was the best kind of relationship—we collaborated with and challenged each other.” Garrard added: “Every litigator likes to win, but this was special because it was a win for remarkable people at the client who had worked so hard to achieve a terrific business and led innovation in the field.”
Read: “Litigators of the Week: Sullivan & Cromwell Helps Turn the Tables for Ocado Group in the ‘Robot Wars’”
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