Warning: Case Studies Can Get You Sued

Author: John Honovich, Published on Feb 24, 2015

What do 24 Hour Fitness, Barnes and Nobles and multiple hospitals have in common?

They have all been sued in the past few months, with their manufacturer case studies used as evidence. 

They join ~100 end users who have been sued in the past 2 years, something we first broke and covered here: Surveillance End Users Getting Sued by Hawk.

Case Study Suit Examples

24 Hour Fitness is being sued. Exhibit A in the suit? 3VR's CEO Letter Congratulating 24 Hour Fitness for Using 3VR.

Barnes and Nobles is being sued. Exhibit A in the suit? March Network's Case Study on Barnes and Nobles.

St. Joseph's Hospital is being sued. Exhibit A in the suit? Exacq's Case Study on the hospital.

The Power of Suing End Users

Understandably, you might find it horrible that end users are being sued.

But it works.

Get Video Surveillance News In Your Inbox
Get Video Surveillance News In Your Inbox

The typical patent lawsuit historically sued the manufacturer directly. That can take a long time and the manufacturer is often not highly motivated to settle nor publicize what is happening. 

Suing end users accelerates this.

The end user gets the suit. Legal or senior management passes it to the security director, wondering what is going on. Not surprisingly, security is stunned. Security then turns to their integrator trying to figure out what happened and why they recommended / installed a system that is getting them sued. The integrator is blindsided. Now both the user and integrator are angry at the manufacturer. The manufacturer needs to do something.

From the Hawk suits, we have definitely seen rapid responses, with numerous manufacturer countersuing and reaching settlements quickly thereafter. Also, related, see Sued For Using Axis Cameras, Settles With Troll.

Obviously, it is bad business to let your customers get sued so manufacturers become highly motivated to settle.

Risks of Case Studies?

You will need to decide how much of a risk this is for you. There are tens of thousands of surveillance case studies and maybe 100 end users have been sued. Plus, it's possible for the suer to find information on end user equipment selection without depending on case studies. 

Equally important, it is not certain how many other patent holders will seek a similar strategy, though given how well this tactic appears to be working, savvy patent holders would likely find this attractive.

Manufacturers Desire for Case Studies

Manufacturers, regardless of suits, will still want case studies. In an industry with a hundred (or more) companies selling something that at least looks the same as their competitors to the untrained eye, case studies clearly help convince / calm / justify purchasing a given manufacturer's products.

Unauthorized Case Studies

Most case studies are hopefully approved and authorized by the end users involved. Though, we are sure many are not. 

First of all, if you are an end user or integrator, make sure any marketing material a manufacturer puts you in is approved by you. IPVM is no stranger to this as it is something we have fought against as we have a strict no manufacturer promotion policy.

Be Aware / Get Discounts

At the very least, be aware of this risk and if you agree to those case studies, make sure to get something out of it.

Surely, 3VR got tens of thousands of dollars worth of promotional benefits from marketing 24 Hour Fitness as a case study. Hopefully, 24 got more out of that deal than a lawsuit.

1 report cite this report:

Arecont Pulls End User Marketing Claims on Jul 28, 2015
Manufacturers, you have to get explicit permission from end users and only state factually true claims about them. Arecont struggles to understand...
Comments (15): PRO Members only. Login. or Join.

Related Reports

If You Have 4 Cameras, You Can Throw Them Away, If You Have 400, They Throw You Away on Jan 19, 2018
Do users care about anything but price? Do user care about cybersecurity? Do users care about trusting their supplier? These have become...
Chinese Government Attacks Western Reports on Jan 03, 2018
The Chinese government is angry at the BBC and WSJ's reporting on Chinese video surveillance (see BBC Features Dahua and WSJ Investigates China's...
Anixter End User Sales Troubles on Oct 23, 2017
End user sales have and continue to be a major problem for Anixter's physical security business. Every year, according to various Anixter people,...
Buy From B&H, Ship Direct From ADI on Oct 16, 2017
B&H, one of the largest online sellers of video surveillance equipment to end users, regularly purchases their video surveillance equipment...
Avigilon / Canon New Lawsuits, No Settlement on Oct 11, 2017
In July, Canon sued Avigilon, a notably rare move amongst major players in the industry, including Canon's subsidiaries Axis and Milestone. At...
Canon Sues Avigilon on Jul 27, 2017
Canon, owner of Axis and Milestone, has sued Avigilon for patent infringement in US court. This is a highly atypical move for Canon, pitting 3 of...
Hikvision USA Hires VP of Business Development on Jul 05, 2017
Hikvision USA is expanding again, this time in its drive to move up market to larger integrators and end users. In this note, we analyze...
ADI's 'Elves' Selling Direct on Amazon on May 15, 2017
Buy from Amazon, get delivery from ADI. What? Recently, we bought a part from Amazon and the shipment came from ADI. We dug into the...
Anixter Favorability Results on Mar 28, 2017
Anixter's direct sales and integrator anger about it has been in the news recently: Anixter / Bosch Sells Direct to Amazon Anixter Touts...
Avigilon Favorability Results on Feb 27, 2017
One of the fastest growing companies has turned into one of the rockiest, as cooling growth, management turnover and a roller coaster stock price...

Most Recent Industry Reports

Aruba Networks Profile on Feb 22, 2018
Aruba Networks' presence in the video surveillance market has historically been limited. With a company focus on Wi-Fi first and switching...
US Army Base Specifies 70+ Outdated Hikvision Cameras on Feb 22, 2018
A US Army base has specified 70+ Hikvision IP cameras, a month after the WSJ reported a different Army base removed Hikvision IP cameras. While...
Directory of 30+ LPR / ANPR Providers on Feb 21, 2018
License Plate Recognition / Automatic Number Plate Recognition are a type of video analytics software that can identify and match license / number...
New Whole Foods Installs Hackable Access Control on Feb 21, 2018
Whole Foods has built a reputation for high quality. And their 2017 Amazon acquisition has increased that, plus added deep pockets for buying...
Remote Network Access for Video Surveillance Guide on Feb 21, 2018
Remotely accessing surveillance systems is key in 2018, with more and more users relying on mobile apps as their main way of operating the system....
Visio For Video Surveillance Design on Feb 20, 2018
Many integrators have standardized on AutoCAD for camera layouts but new users may be overwhelmed by its learning curve. Microsoft's Visio...
Health Care Insurance Integrator Benefits Statistics on Feb 20, 2018
How common and how much healthcare coverage is typically provided by security companies? 150+ integrators explained how their companies provide the...
Hikvision Deletes Genetec Support on Feb 20, 2018
There will be no peace between Hikvision and Genetec. A year after Genetec expelled Hikvision (and Huawei, citing Chinese government control...
Change Orders - Sometimes Necessary, Sometimes Unethical on Feb 19, 2018
Change orders are a common element in project sales. Sometimes they are a necessity and appropriate ways to deal with arising issues, but sometimes...
Bosch Merges Video, Intrusion and Access Businesses on Feb 19, 2018
Bosch is merging their "video systems, intrusion detection, as well as its access control and management software business units to form a single...

The world's leading video surveillance information source, IPVM provides the best reporting, testing and training for 10,000+ members globally. Dedicated to independent and objective information, we uniquely refuse any and all advertisements, sponsorship and consulting from manufacturers.

About | FAQ | Contact