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Comment on ADT's blue octagon trademark litigation / Comment on Security Partners auction
May 14, 2021
comment on ADT's blue octagon trademark litigation from article on May 5, 2021
          If ADT was suing any company other than Ring’s parent company Amazon, I would call them a bully. Here’s why.
          In the complaint, ADT claims to have invented the alarm in 1874. They didn’t.  Augustus Pope invented the alarm in 1857. He sold the patent to Edwin Holmes in 1858, ADT acquired Holmes in 1997. Other than recurring revenue, American District Telegraph of the late 1800’s bears no resemblance to modern-day ADT.
          Can you trademark a shape?  Nike did. A swoosh is unique and didn’t exist before the company’s sneakers made it ubiquitous. ADT didn’t invent the stop sign.  I’m almost certain they didn’t invent the color blue. They definitely didn’t invent the security yard sign in front of a residence. (Morse Signal of California did in the 1970’s) and Holmes invented the security decal in the 1860’s.  The stickers were such powerful deterrents they included serial numbers to prevent non-subscriber use.
          Westec Security invested millions placing their keypads and - of all things, blue octagonal shaped yard signs in Hollywood films in the 1980’s.
          Electronix Systems, a Long Island alarm company has used a blue octagonal sign since the 80’s as well.
          Here are links for two leading security sign manufacturers.  Octagonal shaped signs are one of five standard shapes.  Blue, which is known to promote feelings of safety and comfort also happens to withstand UV rays of the outdoors much better than the color red. Not surprisingly, blue is one of the most common choices of five stock colors.
          If ADT is successful in their suit, should these manufacturers include a disclaimer about using blue octagons, one of 25 permutations of their stock offerings?
          ADT says they have six million customers. Assuming a generous 9% attrition, ADT loses 540,000 customers per year. That’s 1,479 per day. Just about everybody reading this, their entire business - lost by ADT in under a week.  Exit interview those former customers and you will find more cite UFO sightings than yard sign confusion as a reason for leaving. Dissatisfaction is probably a slightly more common complaint.
          Hey, Amazon, dig into those deep pockets, get this frivolous case dismissed in summary judgment and send this bully packing.
Comment on Security Partners auction from article on May 4, 2021
          It’s odd that the auction for security partners is only a few days away - when Goldman hired a complete unknown consultant and didn’t advertise the sale to the industry at large. Will be interesting to see who buys it.  
Peter G
          No odder than the geniuses at the bank thinking that a state court receiver [who wants to make a buck for himself] and his attorneys [who wants to make even more] would find a consultant [who will try and take whatever is left] would decide to sell an alarm company, a wholesale central station in this case, without engaging the 5 to 10 recognized brokers in the alarm industry [all found on The Alarm Exchange] who no doubt would have been able to sell the central station for at least what the bank was owed, if not a lot more. 
          It will indeed be interesting to see what the sale brings and what’s left for the bank, though that information may never be made public.  The last alarm company that I know of that was turned over to a receiver, who hired attorneys and a consultant, got about 4 million more from the lender to operate the company and ultimately sold managing to get about one million, leaving the lender short maybe 25 million, pretty much where it would have been had it just walked away from the debt in the first place, leaving the alarm company debt free.  That alarm company could have been sold by the brokers for 30 million or more, but who am I to criticize or question the lenders and those they hire.

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Ken Kirschenbaum,Esq
Kirschenbaum & Kirschenbaum PC
Attorneys at Law
200 Garden City Plaza
Garden City, NY 11530
516 747 6700 x 301