warehouse club bj wholesale is asking a federal judge to dismiss a patent lawsuit filed by walmartsaying the retail giant is trying to protect a technology-based self-checkout app that retailers have used for more than a decade.
“Nothing about Sam’s Club’s Scan & Go processes is inventive or unconventional; in fact, many other retailers provide a self-checkout option to their customers,” the company said in the court filing Friday. He said simply adding a smartphone and Bluetooth doesn’t make it eligible for patents.
Rival warehouse clubs Sam’s Club and Walmart-owned BJ’s are embroiled in litigation over a piece of technology that has become a prized differentiator for Sam’s Club, especially as its foot traffic has grown and membership has hit a record during the pandemic. Scan & Go starred in a Super Bowl ad that featured comedian Kevin Hart. Now a key benefit subscribers get when they join Walmart+, the company’s membership program, and its response to Amazon Major.
Scan & Go allows customers to record purchases on their smartphones as they walk through the store, allowing them to avoid a checkout line. The feature debuted in 2016, but gained popularity as shoppers sought out contactless payment methods during the spread of Covid.
Walmart and Sam’s Club sued BJ last monthclaiming that the competitor had stolen technology from Scan & Go by rolling out a nearly identical app in late 2021.
“Express Pay is an apparent copy of Sam’s Club’s Scan & Go, simply by changing the colors of the app and changing the name of Scan & Go to Express Pay,” he said in the complaint in March.
Walmart added in the lawsuit that BJ’s was infringing on its patents and causing “significant and irreparable harm.”
Through a spokesperson, Walmart said it will take BJ’s motion to dismiss through the court.