Power Stealing Control Devices
Guess who is suing who.
They are not seeking damages or licensing costs. They simply want Nest to stop making this product. The trouble is, Nest only makes this product.
I took the time to look at the 7 patents in question. Here’s what Honeywell “owns:”
"Controller Interface with Dynamic Schedule Display" (7,142,948): a controller tied to an HVAC unit that visually shows a schedule for when it should run. No calendar on displays for you!
"Natural Language Installer Set Up for Controller" (7,634,504): ability to configure any part of an HVAC system by speaking a grammatically correct sentence.
"HVAC Controller" (7,584,899): a “simplified” HVAC user interface that puts the display in the center and includes a moving part that changes the values on the display. This radical concept was filed in 2006.
"Thermostat with Mechanical User Interface" (7,159,789): similar to the above, but with a “rotatable” element. Basically, an iPod interface for your airconditioner. Ironic, since Nest was founded by the former SVP of Apple’s iPod division, and this patent was filed in 2004 (3 years after the iPod was announced).
"Thermostat with Offset Drive" (7,159,790): same purpose as above, just dealing with the unit’s construction.
"Power Stealing Control Devices" (7,476,988): a device that takes power from other electrical systems. Also, an uncannily apt description for our patent system.
So there you have it, folks. Don’t you dare make anything that regulates HVAC systems that has a screen, a includes a moving part, and displays a schedule.
Nest, instead of marketing this product and creating new ones, now has to sit in court.