Instacart filed a lawsuit against Uber’s rival grocery delivery service for alleged IP theft
Instacart is suing Cornershop, a rival grocery delivery service majority owned by Uber, for allegedly stealing its product images, descriptions, and pricing data in what amounts to intellectual property theft, the Information reports.
In a blog post, Instacart writes that the company has invested “tens of millions of dollars and a tireless amount of effort” to build its extensive grocery catalog, which it describes as “the world’s largest and most comprehensive” and a key to Instacart’s success. In the suit (available here via Axios), Instacart accuses Cornershop of stealing its copyrighted images, modifying file names to try to conceal the true ownership of those images, and recruiting engineers experienced in scraping data for this strategic effort.
“While we welcome competition and innovation, what Cornershop is doing is illegal,” writes Instacart, also noting that it had sent a cease and desist that Cornershop allegedly failed to heed.
In response, Uber shared the following statement with the Financial Times, Engadget, and other outlets: “Instacart is facing a new challenge in the US from a Chilean upstart, and it’s unfortunate that their first move is litigation instead of competition.” Cornershop, one of the largest delivery apps in Latin America, was acquired by Uber last year in an effort to bolster business outside of the company’s core ride-hailing service — an initiative that has become more urgent during the pandemic, as rideshares fall, while grocery delivery sees huge demand.
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