Default Level on Red Series Dimmers

It’s actually the opposite. They did contractually sign the agreement that included full ownership of the firmware, but the manufacturer is not releasing it.

Sure, but the contract probably also had text about the manufacturer being paid for the goods delivered within a timely manner.

Yes, and the manufacturer also agreed to deliver products in a timely manner, in which they were 9 months late. I literally had a baby quicker than they delivered the product :wink:

It boils down to this:

  • Contract says (paraphrased), “Inovelli owns all hardware and firmware regardless of who creates it (ie: Inovelli or manufacturer)”
  • Manufacturer shall deliver product based on agreed to timeline otherwise a punitive damages clause can be enacted (in this case, we’re talking around $2M)
  • Inovelli shall pay manufacturer based on agreed upon payment terms (x% down, y% upon delivery)

We agreed to use this manufacturer because they promised to deliver product in 3.5 months. Yes, I thought for sure this was way too quick, but they said it was possible and they agreed to it. We could’ve chosen a different manufacturer, but chose this one bc of this promise.

Every month was, “we ran into this problem, it will be a 4 week delay” – but it was one of those things where we were already too far in development that it would be pointless to cut losses.

Eventually the product was launched and in exchange for not suing for being 9mo late, which equated to about $2M worth of lost sales, we made a payment plan with them. One that we’ve been upholding since February 2020.

Not sure if you’ve ever dealt with China, but unfortunately contracts mean nothing if you’re a small company and this is a hard lesson we’ve had to learn. Every month something has changed (be it our payment terms, our pricing, etc – essentially a hostage situation with our product).

So, I can see where you may think it was as easy as, “well Inovelli didn’t pay their bills, so of course they’re going to not give up the firmware”, but it’s not that simple.

We don’t have the resources to go after them for violating them handing off the source code as they are a billion dollar company and we are not.

However, this is why we went with a separate manufacturer and also why we are bringing on some huge help (that will hopefully be finalized in a couple weeks) that should turn the leverage back in our favor.

In the meantime, yes, unfortunately this means we can’t be doing updates on firmware as they consider these types of requests features, not bugs. They will fix bugs, but even that is hard to accomplish with them unless we pressure them with losing B2B sales (we have a large B2B client who white-labels our switches).


It doesn’t seem like any kind of agreement means much with China. I know many manufacturers who simply put someone in China just to constantly supervise the manufacturer to keep them from pulling shady crap.

1 Like

Yeah, unless you’re some huge company like Apple, it seems like they know they always have the upper hand bc for every Inovelli of the world, there are at least 10 others lined up to do the same thing we are. Terrible business model for long term business, but I’m sure from their side, they’ve been burned countless times too, so they don’t really think too much into the future.

Hopefully this new arrangement will bring some much needed negotiating power as there’s a lot of big names involved. I’m trying not to be overly optimistic as things aren’t official yet, but it feels good so far! Fingers crossed.