Honeywell Sues Aprilaire for Patent Infringement

Sept. 22, 2017
The lawsuit alleges infringement of seven patents.

ATLANTA, September 21, 2017Honeywell, a software industry leader in connected homes, buildings and energy, today filed a lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Wisconsin against Aprilaire, a division of Research Products Inc., an indoor air quality manufacturer based in Madison, Wisconsin, accusing the company of widespread patent infringement.

The lawsuit alleges infringement of seven patents related to Honeywell's forced air zoning products for residential heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) systems. Zoning technology allows consumers to separately control the temperature in different levels and/or rooms (or zones) of a home by regulating the flow of air to each zone though adjustable dampers. That way, zoning enables a single HVAC system to push more cold air to the upper level zone in the summer, and more heat to the lower level zone in the winter, to keep the entire home comfortable year-round. Honeywell believes Aprilaire is infringing Honeywell’s patented innovations, including the zone control that runs a zoning system and the dampers that regulate airflow through a home.

“Honeywell invests in developing innovative technologies to connect homes and buildings in new ways, giving consumers control over their comfort, safety and security at their convenience,” said AJ Smith, vice president and general manager, Homes Americas, Honeywell Home and Building Technologies. “We believe in fair competition but will defend with vigilance the intellectual property and the innovations that we have invested in and that we bring to market," Smith said.

“For more than 100 years, we have built a reputation solving the needs of homeowners, and that unrivaled expertise is inherent in the patents that we have been awarded,” Smith said. “Residential zoning and related technologies are complex, and our innovative and dependable solutions reflect the work of hundreds of employees and significant investment.”

The lawsuit seeks to prevent Aprilaire from using Honeywell's patented technology in its products, including zoning products, and to recover damages caused by Aprilaire’s infringement.

The Honeywell patents involved in the lawsuit are:

U.S. Patent No. 9,732,980: "HVAC Actuator with Range Adjustment"
U.S. Patent No. 9,664,409: "HVAC Damper System"
U.S. Patent No. 9,310,091: "HVAC Controller with Checkout Utility"
U.S. Patent No. 7,957,839: "HVAC Zone Controller"
U.S. Patent No. 7,913,180: "HVAC Zone Control Panel with Mode Navigation"
U.S. Patent No. 7,645,158: "Terminal Block and Test Pad for an HVAC Controller"
U.S. Patent No. D563325: “HVAC Control Device”.

Aprilare could not be reached for comment.