The Signal Foundation (STF), the nonprofit behind the Signal encrypted messaging app, filed a complaint with the U.S. District Court against ADT for trademark infringement and unfair competition. 

In the complaint, filed Sept. 23 in California, STF states that ADT’s Signal Chat, the company’s intrusion alarm text message notification service, is too similar to Signal’s own messaging app. 

“STF has built a reputation as the gold standard for private and secure communication,” the company stated in the complaint. “STF’s proprietary encryption protocol allows users to communicate via end-to-end encrypted voice calls, video calls, and instant messaging conversations. Its encryption protocol is widely used by other companies, including WhatsApp and Skype. Therefore, ADT’s use of Signal Chat for a text-based communication application and software product benefits them unfairly and damages STF’s reputation among its users and the consuming public who are likely to believe that ADT and STF are affiliated, when they are not.”

STF states that it has used the “Signal” mark as early as 2014. Additionally, it owns countrywide, common law trademark rights on the “Signal” mark. ADT launched Signal Chat in 2020. 

“ADT adopted the identical or nearly identical Signal Chat mark and, on information and belief, subsequently adopted the substantially similar ADT Signal Chat mark for the Infringing Goods in direct contravention of STF’s rights,” the complaint stated. 

ADT declined to provide comment regarding the complaint. STF did not reply for a request for comment. 

SDM will update this story as it develops.