iControl Sues Alarm.com

The stakes in the home security and home automation sector appear to be rising after iControl filed a lawsuit alleging that Alarm.com and partner FrontPoint Security are infringing on six iControl patents.

The complaint, filed Wednesday with the U.S. District Court in the Eastern District of Virginia, seeks undisclosed damages and an injunction to stop the further sale of Alarm.com and FrontPoint interactive home security system products that allegedly infringe on iControl’s intellectual property.

iControl and Alarm.com market similar software-based platforms that enable home automation and security systems. Several MSOs use iControl’s platform to power their own home security/automation services, including Comcast, Cox Communications, Time Warner Cable, Rogers Communications, and Comporium, which has partnered with Mediacom Communications. Market leader ADT uses iControl to power its  ADT Pulse service.

Alarm.com, which announced it had 1 million “active subscribers” last June and was founded in 2000, attended The Cable Show last month, where it pitched  small- and mid-sized cable operators on distribution partnerships.

According to the suit, FrontPoint originally sought a licensing deal with iControl in 2007 and signed a non-disclosure agreement as part of the technology vetting process. FrontPoint later partnered up with Alarm.com.

“Intellectual property is crucial to the type of technology innovation that defines our company, and so we will do all we can to protect our most valuable assets," said Bob Hagerty, CEO of iControl, in a statement. As a pioneer in interactive home security, iControl has invested millions of dollars in research and development to bring to market the iControl OpenHome Software Platform."

Alarm.com was not immediately available for comment.

iControl asserts that Alarm.com's interactive home security system infringes one or more claims tied to these six U.S. patents:

  • No. 7,911,341: “Method for Defining and Implementing Alarm/Notification by Exception”
  • No. 7,262,690: “Method and System for Monitoring Events;”
  • No. 8,073,931: “Networked Touchscreen with Integrated Interfaces;”
  • No. 8,335,842: “Premises Management Networking;”
  • No. 8,473,619: “Security Network Integrated with Premise Security System;” and,
  • No. 8,478,844: “Forming a Security Network Including Integrated Security System Components and Network Devices.”

iControl, founded in 2003, merged with rival uControl  in November 2010. Its financial backers include Comcast, ADT, Cisco Systems, GE Security, Intel Capital, Kleiner Perkins Caufield and Byers and Charles River Ventures.