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Control4 Settles with Lutron on RF Lighting Control Patents

Control4 agrees to pay royalties on past and future sales of certain RF lighting-control products that allegedly infringe on Lutron patents

Julie Jacobson · February 3, 2009

Lutron is slowly working its way through major RF lighting control vendors – suing them for patent infringement and ultimately settling.

The latest casualty is Control4, which settled today in a battle that began in May 2006. Lutron had claimed that Control4 infringed several patents covering inventions in the area of RF communications.

As part of the settlement, Control4 has signed a license agreement with Lutron, and agreed to pay royalties on past and future sales of certain RF lighting-control products that allegedly infringe on Lutron patents.

Lutron has a number of lighting-control patents over which the company has sued (or threatened to sue) several manufacturers.

The one that seems to be mentioned most often in regards to RF patent infringement is:

No. 5,982,103 - Compact radio frequency transmitting and receiving antenna and control device employing same - Filed January 26, 1998, issued November 9, 1999.

View: All patents with “radio” in the title and “Lutron” in the text. (Note these are not all Lutron patents.)

Lutron’s RF patents include:
CORRECTION: This list originally included a mesh-networking patent that in fact did not belong to Lutron but to SmartLabs. I apologize for the error. -JJ

Several other manufacturers, including Vantage Controls, Inc., Leviton Manufacturing Company, Inc., and Cooper Wiring Devices, Inc. have also executed license agreements with Lutron for RF-related patents.

There do not appear to be other related lawsuits pending in Federal District Courts at this time.

More details to come if the attorneys care to discuss. …

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  About the Author

Julie Jacobson is founding editor of CE Pro, the leading media brand for the home-technology channel. She has covered the smart-home industry since 1994, long before there was much of an Internet, let alone an Internet of things. Currently she studies, speaks, writes and rabble-rouses in the areas of home automation, security, networked A/V, wellness-related technology, biophilic design, and the business of home technology. Julie majored in Economics at the University of Michigan, spent a year abroad at Cambridge University, and earned an MBA from the University of Texas at Austin. She is a recipient of the annual CTA TechHome Leadership Award, and a CEDIA Fellows honoree. A washed-up Ultimate Frisbee player, Julie currently resides in San Antonio, Texas and sometimes St. Paul, Minn. Follow on Twitter: @juliejacobson Email Julie at julie.jacobson@emeraldexpo.com

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