Alarm.com accuses Telular of taking intellectual property

Lawsuit claims Telular’s Telguard Interactive and Telguard HomeControl are based on Alarm.com’s patented products and services
 - 
Wednesday, May 22, 2013

VIENNA, Va.—Alarm.com, an interactive services provider based here, filed suit this week against Telular Corp., contending that Telular has been using Alarm.com’s patent-protected products and services without permission as its own.

Alarm.com contends that Telular has infringed on Alarm.com’s patented systems and methods for providing users with wireless notification of alarm system events and also for monitoring a property using a mobile device. Alarm.com says the infringing products and services “include at least Telguard Interactive and Telguard HomeControl.”

Telular is a Chicago-based wireless communication provider whose security products and services division is branded as Telguard, which bills itself as a leader in alarm monitoring and interactive services.

The lawsuit was filed Monday in U.S. District Court in Delaware, where both Alarm.com and Telular are incorporated.

“For the past 13 years, Alarm.com has pioneered the creation of interactive and connected home products and services, and continues to lead the market with new and novel technologies. Alarm.com intends to vigorously defend the intellectual property we have developed and commercialized over the past decade,” Dan Ramos, Alarm.com senior vice president, corporate development, said in a prepared statement Alarm.com provided to Security Systems News.

The lawsuit claims that Telular infringed on three Alarm.com patents that involve a “system and method for connecting security systems to a wireless device," and also on a fourth patent that involves a "monitoring system to monitor a property with a mobile device with monitoring application.” It cites Telguard Interactive and Telguard HomeControl as examples of Telular’s alleged misuse of the patented methods and systems.

Telguard introduced Telguard Interactive in 2010. The lawsuit describes it as “a suite of technology for alarm monitoring that includes notification and remote control of monitoring systems.”

Telguard HomeControl is a new interactive solution for self-contained and traditional security panels that the company introduced in April. It allows users to remotely arm and disarm their security systems, control lights, access locks, adjust thermostats and watch video, according to Telguard. The company says Telguard HomeControl goes beyond basic interactive services “by offering the ability to tie into all the security panel’s events, such as motion detectors and door sensor information.”

The complaint doesn’t spell out how the Telular products and services allegedly resemble Alarm.com’s.

But in the lawsuit, Alarm.com claims that after it released native mobile apps for iPhone and Blackberry devices in 2009 that enabled users to monitor and control their home security systems remotely, “Telguard quickly became aware of Alarm.com and its state-of-the-art alarm monitoring technology.” In 2010, the lawsuit contends, Shawn Welsh, VP of marketing and business development for Telular, got an Alarm.com product and an Alarm.com monitoring account and shortly afterward published video showing the “use of Alarm.com's products and services ... using the name ‘Telular Marketing.’”

Contacted by SSN, Welsh said the company had no comment on the litigation.

Jay Kenny, Alarm.com VP of marketing, told SSN that Alarm.com is not making additional comments beyond Ramos’ statement because the case is pending. However, he said this is the first patent infringement claim Alarm.com has made since its founding in 2000.

The lawsuit seeks an unspecified amount in damages, costs and attorney fees, and a permanent enjoinder against Telular regarding the alleged infringement.

In the lawsuit, Alarm.com describes itself as a “pioneer and innovator in the home security industry, introducing the industry’s first wireless interactive security solution in 2004.”

It states that its “first-to-market innovations” include “the use of dedicated wireless signaling that is fully integrated into the control panel; … cellular-based fully integrated two-way voice emergency response capability; alerting via text messages and email of non-alarm activity; an ability to report anticipated alarm signals even when an intruder destroys the physical alarm panel; … and home security apps for major smartphone platforms that allow remote control of security systems from anywhere.”

Telular is being acquired by Avista Capital Partners, New York-based private equity firm, in a deal valued at $253 million.