Venable Client ecobee Cements Win in Smart Thermostat Patent Infringement Lawsuit

Talk of the Town Case Update

ILLINOIS—On July 19, 2022, Venable LLP client ecobee was the beneficiary of a final determination issued by the U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC) in an investigation brought by EcoFactor, Inc. against ecobee. ecobee is a leader in sustainable smart home solutions; it pioneered the smart thermostat space in 2007.

The complaint, filed on February 25, 2021, accused ecobee and others of importing WiFi-enabled smart thermostats that infringed four patents. On April 4, 2022, following a 13-month investigation, Administrative Law Judge (ALJ) Cameron Elliot published an initial determination in favor of ecobee, finding that there was no violation of Section 337 of the Trade Act. In particular, ALJ Elliot concluded that ecobee did not infringe the asserted patents, that the asserted patents were invalid on multiple grounds, and that EcoFactor failed to satisfy the domestic industry requirement. ecobee prevailed yet again as the ITC released a final determination stating that it had reviewed the record in this investigation and confirmed the original findings.

The Venable team representing ecobee was led by partner Tim Carroll and includes attorneys Manny Caixeiro, Megan Woodworth, Steve Lubezny, Catherine Taylor, Dan Apgar, and others. EcoFactor was represented in this and a prior unsuccessful investigation by Russ, August & Kabat.

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