The last time the Honeywell-Nest legal scuffle appeared on our radar, upstart Nest had just lawyered up (with Apple’s former Chief Patent Counsel no less) and offered up their counterclaims to the original patent infringement suit Honeywell filed this past February.
With a new filing today though, it seems as though the legal battle between the David and the Goliath of thoughtful thermostats is heating up. According to a Honeywell representative, the conglomerate has just recently submitted their official reply to Nest’s counterclaims, and it’s pretty much what you’d expect: they’re denying all of Nest’s accusations.
Let’s back up a bit here. Nest co-founder and CEO Tony Fadell pointedly referred to Honeywell as being “worse than a patent troll” when the Palo Alto startup officially responded to the industrial giant’s lawsuit. In that response, Nest alleges that Honeywell doesn’t have the legal standing to sue them because the patents they were said to have infringed weren’t valid for a number of reasons.
Not so, says Honeywell. Apparently, the company instead believes that “Nest Labs’ counterclaims are self-serving characterizations based on that company’s unfounded opinions and speculations, which are irrelevant to Honeywell’s valid claims of patent infringement.” It’s a sentiment that pops up repeatedly in the conglomerate’s nearly 20 page response, in which they repeatedly acknowledge and then deny each of Nest’s allegations.
Even though Nest has shown that they aren’t going to be bullied out of their business with their last legal maneuver, this turn of events was perhaps inevitable. Honeywell clearly thinks that Nest owes them something, Nest made it clear from the beginning that they wouldn’t be pushed around, and it’s unlikely that any amount of back-and-forth on paper would’ve hashed things out — now all that’s left is to wait until the U.S. District Court of Minnesota lays out the rest of the court schedule come June.