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Honeywell Sues Nest Labs for Patent Infringement on Thermostats

Honeywell says Nest's new learning thermostat infringes on seven patents.


Rachel Cericola · February 6, 2012

The Nest learning thermostat has been receiving a lot of good buzz. But Honeywell isn’t so pleased.

Honeywell has filed a patent infringement lawsuit against Nest Labs, alleging that the start-up company has infringed on seven Honeywell patents related to thermostat technology.

Filed today in the U.S. District Court in Minnesota, the company also links Best Buy to the lawsuit. Specifically, Honeywell says Nest is infringing on the following patents:

U.S. Patent No. 7,634,504 – “Natural Language Installer Set Up for Controller”
U.S. Patent No. 7,142,948 – “Controller Interface with Dynamic Schedule Display”
U.S. Patent No. 7,584,899 – “HVAC Controller”
U.S. Patent No. 7,159,789 – “Thermostat with Mechanical User Interface”
U.S. Patent No. 7,159,790 – “Thermostat with Offset Drive”
U.S. Patent No. 7,476,988 – “Power Stealing Control Devices”
U.S. Patent No. 6,975,958 – “Profile Based Method for Deriving a Temperature Setpoint Using a ‘Delta’ Based On Cross-Indexing a Received Price-Point Level Signal.”

“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,” says 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.”

Over the years, Honeywell says it has invested “substantial” resources into the research and development of thermostats. Besides the company’s lengthy product line, Honeywell holds as hundreds of patents in the thermostat space alone.

Honeywell is seeking to recover damages caused by the infringement.

Honeywell recently filed a separate suit against Venstar Inc. and ICM Controls for infringing patents related to thermostat and combustion controls patents.



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  About the Author

Rachel Cericola is a longtime contributor to CE Pro. Have a suggestion or a topic you want to read more about? Email Rachel at write2rachel@gmail.com

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