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Honeywell digs in against Nest in thermostat IP case

With both sides' positions clear, the schedule for Honeywell's patent infringement suit against smart-thermostat maker Nest Labs is due next month.

Josh Miller/CNET

Honeywell today summarily denied counterclaims in a patent infringement suit it filed against thermostat startup Nest Labs.

In a court filing, Honeywell stood by its claims that Nest infringed on its numerous patents in programmable thermostats. The suit was first filed against Nest in February.

Nest responded to the suit in April, saying that Honeywell's seemingly broad patents are "hopelessly invalid" and said Honeywell is trying to stifle innovation.

In today's filing, Honeywell fired back, saying the thermostat heavyweight intends to vigorously defend its intellectual property. The filing said Nest Labs' counter claims are "irrelevant to Honeywell's valid claims of patent infringement and appear intended to divert attention away from the core issues."

In June, the court hearing the case is expected to lay out the case schedule, according to a Honeywell representative.

Nest last year created a stir in the normally sleepy world of programmable thermostats when it introduced its Learning Thermostat, which reviewers say is a well-designed device and enjoyable to use.

The company, founded by former Apple employees, also hired Apple's former chief patent counsel Richard Lutton Jr. in preparation for what will be a legal fight with Honeywell in the months, and potentially years, ahead.