During last month’s Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas we brought you news of the Nest Learning Thermostat. This amazing thermostat learns from your habits and adjusts the temperature in your home in order to save energy, as well as money on your heating/cooling bill. The thermostat even connects with your home wi-fi, allowing you to control it from a free iOS or Android app.
Now, however, Nest has been hit with a lawsuit by Honeywell. Honeywell claims that the Nest Learning Thermostat infringes on seven patents owned by Honeywell. The patents cover a variety of technological features of the thermostat, including natural language user interface, programming interface, and various internal components. The suit seeks damages and an injunction preventing Nest from selling the Learning Thermostat.
While Beth Wozniak, president of Honeywell Environmental and Combustion Controls, insisted that Honeywell welcomes competition, but refuses to allow infringement on Honeywell’s intellectual property. In a recent interview with GigaOm, Wozniak said that Honeywell had looked into learning thermostat technology, but ultimately abandoned it.
I got in touch with Nest about the situation, but apparently they were caught off guard by Honeywell's filing. Here's what a Nest spokesperson had to say: "We have not yet reviewed the actual filing, which we learned about this morning through Honeywell’s press release. We will provide comment once we’ve had the opportunity to review it."