Nest to Honeywell: We will vigorously defend ourselves

Smart thermostat startup Nest has finally publicly commented on thermostat giant Honeywell slapping it with a patent infringement lawsuit. Nest says it will “vigorously defend itself,” against Honeywell’s lawsuit, and says it has “the resources, support and conviction to do so.”

Here’s the full comment:

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. The Nest Learning Thermostat is already making a difference, saving customers energy and money. 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.

If you’re just jumping into this story, Honeywell is a thermostat behemoth, and Nest is a Valley startup that created what it calls the world’s first learning thermostat. Honeywell says that the Nest learning thermostat is infringing on at least seven of Honeywell’s patents, and Honeywell also named retailer Best Buy, which sells the Nest thermostat, in the suit.

Beth Wozniak, president, Honeywell Environmental and Combustion Controls, said in a statement about the lawsuit this week that “Competition is good and we welcome it, but we will not stand by while competitors, large or small, offer products that infringe on our intellectual property.”

Nest is backed by tens of millions of dollars from Kleiner Perkins, Google Ventures, and Al Gore’s investment fund.

Here’s some other background on the suit: