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Honeywell serves up patent infringement lawsuit against Nest Labs

April 10, 2012 - Honeywell has filed a patent infringement lawsuit against Nest Labs Inc. in the United States District Court for the District of Minnesota, alleging infringement of seven Honeywell patents related to its thermostat technology.


April 10, 2012
By Alyssa Dalton

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.

Specifically, the complaint asserts infringement of 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.”

The lawsuit seeks to enjoin Nest Labs and Best Buy, which sells the Nest Labs thermostat, from using Honeywell’s patented technology and to recover damages caused by the infringement. This action follows recent patent litigation filed by Honeywell against Venstar Inc. and ICM Controls for infringing thermostat and combustion controls patents.

“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.”

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“We are focused on upholding the integrity of the hard work and development our company has put into its home comfort and residential control technologies,” she added.