Irvine-based video doorbell tech company SkyBell Technologies is looking to further its local expansion after a federal court awarded it $45.4 million in a patent dispute against competitor Vivint Inc.
While Utah-based Vivint plans to appeal, Desiree Mejia, SkyBell co-founder and chief operating officer, said the ruling in her company’s favor bolsters confidence “among our employees and broader stakeholders.” The company currently has 19 on-site workers and 16 working remotely.
“This positive court outcome is expected to lead to an increase in our employee base within the Orange County area,” Mejia told the Business Journal on Oct. 27.
“As we continue to grow and solidify our presence in the market, there are plans in the pipeline to expand our footprint in Orange County,” she added.
That includes more physical office space and a larger team.
“We believe that by investing in additional facilities and bringing on board more talented individuals, we can further our mission and continue to serve our customers effectively,” Mejia said.
SkyBell works on an array of smart-home security technology.
“Since our company’s founding in 2013, we have secured over $75 million in equity funding,” Mejia said. Financial details and revenue figures are confidential.
On Oct. 23, a federal jury in the Eastern District of Texas determined that Vivint, a maker of smart-home security systems, willfully infringed upon two of SkyBell’s patents, leading to a damage award of $45.4 million in favor of SkyBell’s subsidiary, SB IP Holdings LLC.
SkyBell owns more than 150 patents, encompassing innovations at the front door and broader home Internet of Things area.
“With more than 2 million professionally installed video doorbells, we are not just excited about our past accomplishments but also about the future possibilities for SkyBell and our partners,” the company said in a statement.
The patents provide homeowners the capacity to view their front door’s entrance through smartphone apps and transmit video data seamlessly.
Giovanni Tomaselli, president of SkyBell, said the ruling sends “a message to others in the security industry about the importance of honoring and respecting SkyBell’s genuine innovation.”
SkyBell was represented by the Hackensack, N.J.-based Cole Schotz PC law firm.
“For a smaller company to take on a large company in litigation it is no small feat. This litigation lasted three years and it is validation of the patents as well as SkyBell’s belief in innovation,” Cole Schotz member Gary Sorden, who works out of Texas, said in a statement.
A spokesperson for home security company Vivint called the court ruling against it “extremely disappointing” given related litigation in the company’s favor.
“We plan to mount a vigorous appeal not only as to the invalidity of the patents but also that Vivint does not infringe these patents and are confident these issues will ultimately be resolved in our favor,” the Vivint spokesperson said.
In an unrelated local patent infringement dispute, Masimo Corp. (Nasdaq: MASI), on Oct. 26 won a key ruling in its case alleging intellectual property theft by Apple Inc.