ADT, a provider in smart home and business security, brought an action for willful trademark infringement, unfair competition and related violations against Ring LLC (Ring), an Amazon company and provider of smart home security devices.
In March 2021, the complaint asserts, Ring adopted a blue octagon mark that is virtually indistinguishable from ADT’s blue octagon mark, which is protected under numerous federal trademark registrations. ADT’s blue octagon is seen on lawn signs and stickers at the homes and businesses of ADT’s more than 6.5 million customers across the United States. According to the complaint, following an attempt to imitate ADT’s lawn signs, Ring went further and blatantly assimilated ADT’s logo into its Ring Alarm Outdoor Siren.
The infringement constitutes Ring’s alleged second attempted theft of ADT property. In 2017, Ring obtained an unauthorized copy of a software platform, related trade secrets and other assets that ADT had spent two years and millions of dollars developing, the complaint explains. ADT brought suit in Delaware and succeeded in enjoining Ring from using the stolen platform before Ring settled with ADT.
Now operating as an Amazon company, Ring is “seeking to tout a reputation for trust to potential customers that it has not earned,” the complaint asserts.
As the complaint asserts, “Indeed, even though the blue octagon mark that Ring is using includes the Ring name, … 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’s suit alleges willful trademark infringement, unfair competition and false designation of origin under the Lanham Act, 15 U.S.C. §§ 1114 and 1125(a); common law trademark infringement; violation of Florida Unfair Competition Law; and Trademark Dilution under the Lanham Act, 15 U.S.C. § 1125(c) and under Fla. Stat. § 495.151.
“Great brands like ADT don’t become universally recognized overnight,” said Trent Webb, co-chair, intellectual property practice group of Shook, Hardy & Bacon, counsel for ADT. “ADT’s products, services, and reputation are built on a nearly 150-year history of innovation and reliability, and investment in its people and its products. Amazon’s Ring continues to take shortcuts to build its brand—to build its company—through blatant and repeated theft of ADT’s intellectual property.”
“ADT will protect its customers, its employees, its intellectual property, and its reputation,” Webb continued. “As such, we’re asking the court for, among other relief, immediate and permanent injunction against the use of ADT’s iconic blue octagon mark and for monetary and punitive damages.”