Chalk one up for patents stifling innovation. Honeywell has filed a lawsuit again Nest and Best Buy for infringing on some of its thermostat technologies. Yay.

According to a press release filed by Honeywell, seven patents are being infringed upon:

  • 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.”

Beth Wozniak, president of Honeywell, has gone on the record stating: “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 … 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.”

We’re all for companies and lawyers protecting intellectual property, but at some point we all need to sit down and figure out whether or not this patent system is doing more damage to innovation than it’s worth. We’re pumped about the Nest. Heck, we’ve even done a review on it. Sadly, I can’t say the same for Honeywell.

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