Instacart Wages War on Uber-Owned Cornershop
Instacart has filed a lawsuit against Cornershop alleging that the Uber-owned rival has "brazenly stolen" Instacart's IP and is using its intellectual property. Cornershop was founded in Chile in 2015 and is one of the largest grocery delivery services in Latin America, but its recent plans to enter the U.S. may now be forced to take a step back.
Among the allegations from Instacart against Cornershop, according to a blog post, are:
- Stealing thousands of Instacart copyrighted images to use across their app and website — many of which were developed by Instacart's team using its own Mobile Photo Studio.
- Modifying file names in order to conceal the ownership of the images.
- Posting jobs for engineers with "advanced scraping" and “bypassing ‘rate limiting’” skills that indicate that this is a strategic effort for the company.
"Upon discovery of this activity, we immediately sent Cornershop a cease and desist and, when they failed to comply, we were forced to bring this lawsuit," Instacart writes. "We don’t take the decision to litigate lightly, but believe today’s actions are necessary to protect our business and our retail partners from Cornershop’s ongoing theft."
The lawsuit has been filed in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Texas. Cornershop is not commenting, but a spokesperson for Uber told Progressive Grocer the following:
"Instacart is facing a new challenge in the U.S. from a Chilean upstart, and it’s unfortunate that their first move is litigation instead of competition. Cornershop will be responding to this complaint but won’t be deterred in bringing grocery delivery to more customers in the U.S."
Earlier this month, Uber also announced its intention to buy delivery service Postmates for approximately $2.65 billion in an all-stock transaction.