Google loses another patent battle, this time over its Nest thermostats

Nest Learning Thermostat 3rd Gen in Heat Mode
Nest Learning Thermostat 3rd Gen in Heat Mode (Image credit: Joe Maring / Android Central)

What you need to know

  • Google will have to pay $20 million as a result of the EcoFactor patent lawsuit.
  • EcoFactor sued Google in 2020, claiming that its Nest thermostats infringe on its patents.
  • Google is reportedly planning to appeal the verdict.
  • In January, Google lost a patent suit against Sonos and had to revamp its smart home controls.

Google lost its second major patent case in as many months after a Texas court found that it's infringed on a patent from EcoFactor, a smart home energy management company.

The suit was filed in 2020 in which EcoFactor claimed that Google's Nest Thermostat line infringed on two of its patents. However, the court found that only one patent was infringed upon, one that has to do with the method in which Google's thermostats turn off HVAC systems to save energy.

EcoFactor specifically calls out Google's Early-On feature, which calculates when it should start heating or cooling your home based on a schedule and the weather.

As a result of the verdict, Google will have to pay more than $20 million.

Android Central reached out to Google for a statement but did not immediately receive a response. However, Google spokesperson José Castañeda told Reuters that the company plans to appeal the verdict, and that the decision should not affect its customers.

This is notably the second major patent lawsuit that Google has lost recently since it was found to infringe on key Sonos patents related to Google's best smart speakers and displays. As a result of that case, Google had to adjust the way that it handles volume controls on its smart devices, which allowed it to avoid an import ban on certain Nest products.

Derrek Lee
Managing Editor

Derrek is the managing editor of Android Central, helping to guide the site's editorial content and direction to reach and resonate with readers, old and new, who are just as passionate about tech as we are. He's been obsessed with mobile technology since he was 12, when he discovered the Nokia N90, and his love of flip phones and new form factors continues to this day. As a fitness enthusiast, he has always been curious about the intersection of tech and fitness. When he's not working, he's probably working out.