Internet of Things company Ring has been hit with a preliminary injunction in a case filed in Delaware courts by security company ADT, barring any and all retail sales of affected Ring products until further notice. Retailers in possession of offending Ring products will be forced to hold them back or return them to the company. Ring is a fairly well-known brand and maker of smart video doorbells, among other IoT products. The injunction affects fairly recent products, particularly those made with the Z1 platform, which was built by defunct security-as-a-service company Zonoff. Products that are not made with the Z1 platform are not affected. There is no definitive date for when the injunction will either end or move from preliminary status, or what will happen at that point. For now, the injunction will last at least until courts rule on the intellectual property case involving Zonoff, ADT, and Ring.
The lawsuit that this injunction stems from is between ADT and Ring, but revolves around Zonoff. The company obtained funding from ADT, and then promptly went under. Reportedly, this was due to a botched sale to Honeywell. Zonoff had already put off other potential buyers and prepared for acquisition when Honeywell backed out of the deal, leaving Zonoff no real recourse but to close its doors. The company had somewhere on the order of 80 employees at that time, including CEO Mike Harris, and almost all of them wound up employed by Ring.
Before going under, Zonoff had begun work on the Z1 platform, which some current Ring products, including Ring Protect, are built around. Because Zonoff had secured funding from ADT before closing its doors, a bankruptcy would bring the possibility of ADT owning Zonoff’s assets and intellectual property. The case at hand argues, essentially, that Zonoff’s intellectual property belongs to ADT, and Ring has no right to use it. ADT has not yet filed a motion to seize Ring products made with the Z1 platform, nor has it showed any interest in employing the former Zonoff workers who went over to Ring, or dismantling the department within Ring that those employees have formed.