Conglomerate Honeywell Files Patent Lawsuit Against Smart Thermostat Developer Nest

Posted on Feb 7 2012 - 8:22am by Editorial Staff

Conglomerate Honeywell, the company which develops thermostats, has filed a patent infringement lawsuit against Nest Labs, the developer of the innovative smart thermostat. The lawsuit, which was filed United States District Court for the District of Minnesota, alleges infringement of seven Honeywell patents related to its thermostat technology.

The company has invested substantial resources in the research and development of its thermostats and has launched hundreds of products and technologies in the last five years. The company has protected that investment with a significant patent portfolio, including hundreds of patents in the thermostat space alone.

“Competition is good and we welcome it, but we will not stand by while competitors, large or small, offer products that infringe on our intellectual property,” said Beth Wozniak, president, Honeywell Environmental and Combustion Controls. “From our iconic ’round thermostat’ to the first programmable and simple-to-use touch screen thermostats, Honeywell is known for setting the standard in home comfort and energy efficiency.”

The patents are related to, among other things, simplified methods for operating and programming a thermostat including the use of natural language, user interfaces that facilitate programming and energy savings, a thermostat’s inner design, an electric circuit used to divert power from the user’s home electrical system to provide power to a thermostat, and controlling a thermostat with information stored in a remote location. The lawsuit seeks to enjoin Nest Labs and Best Buy Co., Inc., which sells the Nest Labs thermostat, from using Honeywell’s patented technology and to recover damages caused by the infringement.

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