Lutron, Crestron Settle on Patent-Infringement Claims
Home automation giant Crestron Electronics will pay royalties on past and future sales of Infinet lighting controls, settling with Lutron on three patent-infringement claims.
Lutron’s lighting-control patents appear to be rock-solid. That explains why several key competitors, including Vantage Controls (a Legrand division), Leviton, Cooper Wiring Devices, Control4 (Nasdaq: CTRL) and now Crestron, have settled with the juggernaut.
Crestron reached a settlement this month, five years after Lutron sued the home automation giant for infringing on three U.S. patents concerning wireless two-way lighting controls and multi-load/multizone wallbox dimming.
Back in 2009, in a controversial move, Lutron also sued three Crestron dealers, all based in Utah, on the same patent-infringement claims, presumably in order to file the lawsuit in that “friendly” state, where Vantage lost its legal battle.
We broke down the infringement claims then, explaining how Crestron’s ZigBee-based Infinet wireless lighting controls allegedly violated patents on technology incorporated into Lutron’s Radio Ra and Grafik Eye product lines, among others.
In a statement issued today, Lutron explains:
As part of the settlement, Crestron has executed a License Agreement under the RF patents and agreed to pay royalties on past and future sales of its products that use the Lutron RF patents. Crestron agreed to design around Lutron’s design patent.
To date, several other manufacturers, including Vantage Controls, Inc., Leviton Manufacturing Company, Inc., Cooper Wiring Devices, Inc., and Control4 have also executed license agreements with Lutron for these same RF patents.
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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 firstname.lastname@example.org
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