US-based retail corporation Walmart and its subsidiary Sam’s Club have filed a lawsuit against BJ’s Wholesale Club over an alleged patent infringement.
According to the complaint, BJ’s Wholesale Club added a self-checkout feature, ExpressPay, to its mobile app that Sam’s Club claims is ‘strikingly similar’ to its Scan & Go.
Walmart said that it holds multiple patents protecting the intellectual property for the self-checkout feature, of which Sam’s Club is the legal owner and exclusive licensee.
The lawsuit was filed in a US District Court in Florida, in which BJ’s has at least 35 locations.
In a statement, Walmart said: “BJ’s Mobile App and Express Pay incorporates Sam’s Club’s technology without Sam’s Club’s permission and infringes the Asserted Patents.
“As a result of the defendant’s infringement in this district, plaintiffs have suffered, and will continue to suffer, significant damages and irreparable harm.”
The plaintiffs are seeking injunctive relief and monetary damages in the trial.
In 2016, Sam’s Club rolled out its Scan & Go feature within its mobile app.
The feature allows Sam’s Club customers to make purchases through their smartphones without having to stand in the checkout line.
Shoppers are only required to scan barcodes on items to load them into their carts, then pay directly from their phones.
The company said the technology has become more popular since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic.
In December last year, the state government of California filed a lawsuit against Walmart for allegedly dumping 159,600lb of hazardous waste a year in landfills in the state.
Last month, the company reported its full-year revenue for the fiscal year 2022 (FY22) had increased by 2.4% to $572.8bn, which was negatively affected by $32.7bn related to divestitures.
The company’s international net sales declined by 16.8%, having been negatively impacted by around $32.6bn from divestments.