The Nest thermostat is probably the only smart thermostat to create a solid buzz in the tech community. Sure, various smart thermostats and home energy management systems are neat and interesting, but this one was received especially well because you don't have to actually do anything. Created by the minds behind the iPod, this thermostat is about as simple as humanly possible to use.
However, some companies aren't so thrilled about the newcomer. TechCrunch reports that Honeywell has filed a patent infringement lawsuit against Nest Labs.According to a press release, the specific patents are:
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."
So far, Nest Labs doesn't have a comment about the lawsuit because they haven't reviewed the actual filing yet. Considering how excited folks have been about it, and how willing they are to lay down some $250 for a thermostat, there is sure to be more drama around it in the near future.