updated 06:15 pm EST, Wed February 8, 2012
Nest plans to fight Honeywell lawsuit
Nest signaled its intention to fight Honeywell's lawsuit on Wednesday. In a response, it claimed to be the real innovator with its Learning Thermostat. Honeywell was simply trying to drag down a rival, Nest said.
"We at Nest are proud of creating products that bring true innovation to home efficiency and we are continuing to innovate and bring products to market," it argued. "Nest will vigorously defend itself against Honeywell's patent-attack strategy to stifle thoughtful competition and we have the resources, support and conviction to do so."
Honeywell has so far argued that Nest was using its thermostats for research and too closely following its pattern. Outsiders, meanwhile, have accused it using generic patents to attack Nest, such as the idea of a round thermostat and plain-language questions. Although Internet access and the basic shape aren't completely new to the Nest, many point to home temperature control having mostly devolved into a commodity market over the past few decades, where a lack of real breakthroughs and competitors has led to thermostats being treated as difficult-to-use afterthoughts.
Nest's core advantage is its ability to use historical information to automatically set the temperature based on when the owner is most likely to be home or with local weather. Internet access helps by remotely controlling both the immediate temperature and the long-term schedule.