Product sample request at issue in patent infringement lawsuit

Investigating an intellectual property dispute may involve looking into the previous encounters and business dealings, if any, between the parties involved in the dispute.

With that in mind, readers in California may be interested in a recent patent infringement claim brought by a Texas startup against global technology conglomerate Honeywell International.

Allure Energy Inc., based in Austin, is a startup that developed smart thermostat technology that automatically adjusts in-home climate settings based on whether the user is at home or away. The technology, which is used in Allure's EverSense thermostat, tracks users' whereabouts through their smartphones and adjusts the heat or air conditioning in the home as the user nears the residence.

In the lawsuit, Allure claims that Honeywell's Lyric thermostat uses technology that was patented by Allure for the EverSense product. Interestingly, Allure claims that EverSense was demonstrated for Honeywell at a tech trade show in 2012, and Honeywell requested some samples. Allure's CEO claims that he thought Honeywell might have been interested in a business relationship.

Allure's complaint says the company is seeking an injunction barring Honeywell from using the technology. Allure is also seeking an award of profits from Honeywell, along with damages that have not yet been specified.

Companies sometimes have to take aggressive legal action to enforce a patent and keep a competitive edge. Whether you are on the enforcement or defense side of such a dispute, it is crucial to have a skilled patent infringement attorney investigate the claim and develop an effective strategy. Shulman, Hodges & Bastian's intellectual property overview has more on these matters.

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