Google loses another patent battle, this time over its Nest thermostats

Nest Learning Thermostat 3rd Gen in Heat ModeSource: Joe Maring / Android Central

Google lost its second major patent case in as many months after a Texas court found that it’s infringed on a patent from EcoFactor, a smart home energy management company.

The suit was filed in 2020 in which EcoFactor claimed that Google’s Nest Thermostat line infringed on two of its patents. However, the court found that only one patent was infringed upon, one that has to do with the method in which Google’s thermostats turn off HVAC systems to save energy.

EcoFactor specifically calls out Google’s Early-On feature, which calculates when it should start heating or cooling your home based on a schedule and the weather.

As a result of the verdict, Google will have to pay more than $20 million.

Android Central reached out to Google for a statement but did not immediately receive a response. However, Google spokesperson José Castañeda told Reuters that the company plans to appeal the verdict, and that the decision should not affect its customers.

This is notably the second major patent lawsuit that Google has lost recently since it was found to infringe on key Sonos patents related to Google’s best smart speakers and displays. As a result of that case, Google had to adjust the way that it handles volume controls on its smart devices, which allowed it to avoid an import ban on certain Nest products.

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