Smart Home Energy Management Company Accuses Amazon of Patent Infringement

On Wednesday, EcoFactor Inc. took Inc. to court over the alleged infringement of two of its patents relating to energy management technology. In its Western District of Texas lawsuit, the Palo Alto, California company claims that Amazon products infringe its patented improvements to smart thermostat systems, smart HVAC systems, and smart HVAC control systems.

The complaint opens with an explanation of EcoFactor’s business, stating that it “delivers smart home energy management services that improve energy efficiency, reduce energy bills and vastly increase demand response efficacy – all while maintaining consumer comfort.” The filing further explains that the company uses proprietary big-data analytics and machine learning algorithms to collect and process tremendous quantities of residential data, including home thermodynamics, family comfort preferences and schedules, and external data such as weather, to perennially monitor and adapt for optimal energy savings.

The company claims that it has expended tens of millions in the research and development and technical support of its products domestically. However, the filing asserts that its success and market standing have recently been eroded by an “explosion of imported products,” that infringe the asserted patents.

The complaint states two counts for federal patent infringement for U.S. Patent No. 10,534,382 entitled “System and method for using a wireless device as a sensor for an energy management system” and  U.S. Patent No. 10,584,890 entitled “System and Method for Using a Mobile Electronic Device to Optimize an Energy Management System.” EcoFactor argues that Amazon makes, imports, and/or sells products such as its Amazon Smart Thermostat that directly infringe multiple claims of both patents.

The accused products also include “Amazon servers, backend systems, web portals, APIs, Alexa mobile app, and remote sensor accessories that support these thermostats,” the complaint specifies.

The lawsuit seeks injunctive relief barring further infringement, and an order requiring Amazon to provide an accounting and to pay supplemental damages. EcoFactor is represented by Russ August & Kabat.