A powerful IP licensing firm has sued ADT and a number of remote monitoring providers for patent infringement. The firm, Walker Digital, claims that ADT and other surveillance companies violate their patent for an 'Internet Surveillance System' that they originally filed in 1998.
Walker Digital is a powerful force in patent enforcement. They are the company behind the Priceline patent and claimed to have generated over $200 million USD in patent licensing for their hundreds of patents. Walker Digital also recently filed suits against Google, Groupon, Facebook, etc. in cases unrelated to their surveillance patents.
Remote monitoring is widely viewed as one of the next big things. ADT is one of the leading promoters of this service. Remote monitoring holds the promise of reducing expenditures on guards and providing a surveillance service with strong, clearly demonstrated ROI. Interestingly, remote monitoring also greatly benefits from video analytics for generating alerts. Analytics themselves are under attack from patent lawsuits (review the OV analytics lawsuit campaign).
The case was filed this week and also names publicly traded Iveda Solutions and retail provider Westec, among others. We will continue to update as the lawsuit makes its way through the court system.
UPDATE May 4, 2011: In the comments section, two industry veterans make the case that significant prior art exists that should invalidate the Walker Digital patents. Read the comments for full details.