Honeywell Sues Nest for Patent Infringement
The Nest thermostat captured the imagination of connected-device enthusiasts with its slick looks and advanced capabilities. But now Nest is being sued for patent infringement by a major thermostat provider.
Honeywell, www.honeywell.com, said today it has filed a patent infringement lawsuit against Nest Labs, www.nest.com. The lawsuit alleges infringement of seven Honeywell patents related to its thermostat technology. Honeywell said in a statement it is seeking to prevent Nest Labs and Best Buy, which sells the Nest thermostat, from offering the devices for sale. It also seeks unspecified damages.
Honeywell says this move follows similar litigation against other manufacturers, naming Venstar, www.venstar.com, and ICM Controls, www.icmcontrols.com.
Nest thermostat has been touted as the “iPhone of thermostats” by its creators. Nest connects to the Internet via a home’s Wi-Fi connection and learns a household’s behaviors and preferences, such as what temperature they like to keep the home in the evenings. It then creates a schedule on its own. The device also encourages users to save energy. If a user turns down the heat a bit, he or she will see a green leaf icon on the display as a reward for altering the home’s patterns. Sensors can also determine when the house is empty and will set the temperature accordingly to save energy.
Nest seems to have struck a chord with consumers, as it has been sold out on the company’s Web site for some time now. So far, Nest has not yet responded publicly to the Honeywell lawsuit.