Opex, a maker of warehouse and fulfillment center automation and robotic systems, has filed a second set of lawsuits against two companies alleging infringement of patents for its Perfect Pick automated storage and retrieval (AS/RS) system and its Sure Sort automated sortation system.
The lawsuits were filed in U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania against HC Robotics of Hangzhou City, China and Invata Intralogistics of Conshohocken, PA, which imports and sells HC’s products here. It’s the second set of legal actions Opex filed against the companies. The actions also cover patent infringement of associated vehicles, control software and component parts used in Perfect Pick and Sure Sort.
As a result of the first series of lawsuits, filed in December, HC Robotics and Invata Intralogistics agreed to stop selling the former’s first-generation Omnisort automated sortation system, according to Opex. The actions are still proceeding regarding HC’s second-generation sortation system. The new lawsuits are focused on the import and sale of that system, which Opex alleges infringes on its newer patents.
“Opex has been and remains committed to bringing innovative warehouse automation systems to the market,” said James Liebler, Opex’s Vice President of Corporate and Legal Affairs. “We respect others’ intellectual property and expect others to respect ours as well. We will vigorously defend our intellectual property and bring actions when necessary to address infringing conduct.”
In March, Invata rolled out a line of robotic products in an OEM agreement with an unnamed manufacturer. These include a range of bots including mini-loaders, forklifts and tote-moving conveyors. Its website features a robotic goods-to-person AS/RS similar to the Opex Perfect Pick.
Opex, a privately-owned company based in Moorestown, NJ, was founded in the 1970s and employs more than 1,600, with additional facilities in Plano, TX, France, Germany, Switzerland and the United Kingdom. It makes document and mail automation systems in addition to warehouse automation. Customers in retail include Newegg, iHerb and BHFO.