Here’s an unexpted twist in the home security market: Competition is so fierce between the Ring smart home device brand and the older security company ADT, that ADT has now sued Ring over their smart home security offerings.
This is a big deal for several reasons. First, the judge has ordered Ring to stop selling products while the courts investigate the matter. This is a really important for Ring, which is a fairly large company but still needs revenue coming in, especially during the holiday season. Being subject to a lawsuit like this can be very damaging for a company no matter the result.
Code theft is also becoming more common, which is an issue that has consequences far beyond the security industry.
Here’s what ADT is claiming: ADT funded a company called Zonoff to the tune of aroung $36 million. Zonoff developed some software called Z1, and then went bankrupt. Ring hired about 75 old Zonoff employees, including the CEO, and started working on its own software.
Now ADT is saying, “Whoa, wait a minute, you are using code that we paid for, that’s ours!” and Ring is saying, “No, we paid for all the software we are using as part of our own deal with Zonoff!” The answer, of course, requires a dive down into contracts and the specific wording of these deals. While details are uncovered and arguments are made, the judge decided to halt Ring device sales, although no final decision has been made.
If you look around the tech industries these days, you’ll see that this is not the only case that is playing out much like this – including huge lawsuits. The truth is that the tech industry is struggling with how code is created, passed along, and who truly owns it years down the road. It’s a complicated question.
However, if you are looking for home security systems to use, this is a whole other problem. It’s a reason why it’s really important to always carefully research the company that you are buying from to make sure the brand doesn’t have any ongoing issues or tangled legal problems.
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