May 18, 2021

topicofthetown

Design your heritage

Amazon’s Ring sued by ADT over blue octagon design

ADT is suing Amazon’s Ring, with the home security company arguing that Ring’s “blue octagon” is a blatant copy of the signage ADT has long used. Ring began using the blue octagon design earlier this year, featuring it on its outdoor siren and in a number of yard signs intended to make clear that a property is “Protected by Ring.”

Problem is, ADT argues, that color combined with the eight-sided shape are already associated with security, but from its brand instead. “Ring adopted a blue octagon mark that is virtually indistinguishable from ADT’s iconic blue octagon mark,” the company argues, “which is protected under numerous federal trademark registrations.”

According to ADT, its use of the blue octagon “is iconic in the security market.” It’s a fairly familiar sight sticking up from suburban lawns, with ADT claiming to have more than 6.5 million customers in the US. Not all, of course, jab an ADT sign into their shrubbery.

It’s not the first time ADT has taken issue with Ring, mind. Back in 2017, the two companies were in court over allegations that Ring had copied some of the software and other assets developed by Zonoff. ADT had invested in Zonoff to build its own home security systems, but Ring surged that it, too, had a contract with Zonff; Ring later settled.

Since then, of course, Amazon has acquired Ring, giving it even more money for lawyers. ADT insists that Ring’s new graphics are “seeking to tout a reputation for trust to potential customers that it has not earned,” and that the company hopes “people will believe that Ring is providing a security service on par with ADT – or, worse, that Ring is providing its security service in partnership with ADT.”

ADT, meanwhile, previously inked a deal with Google’s Nest around home security. Though Nest discontinued its Nest Guard home alarm, ADT still offers “professional installation” of products like theNest Hub.

It’s been an eventful few years in home security. What once required paying for installation and typically expensive service fees for remote monitoring came under attack from far more affordable DIY systems. Several companies have sprung up offering connected cameras, alarms, home leak sensors, and more, all designed to be relatively straightforward to install and operate. Meanwhile, AI and machine learning for things like person detection and smart notifications has cut the need for human monitoring.

ADT is seeking an immediate and permanent injunction against Ring, preventing them from using the blue octagon design. It’s also seeking monetary and punitive damages. We’ve asked Ring for a comment and will update when we hear from the company.