On June 9, 2022, Tim Carroll published “What ecobee’s U.S. Victories Tell Canadians About American Patent Law” in The Lawyer’s Daily. For 10 years, Mr. Carroll has served as patent trial counsel for ecobee on infringement actions in the United States, including the successes for ecobee referenced in this article. The following is an excerpt:
In the summer of 2007, a small group of innovators discussed forming a company that focused on combating climate change. During these discussions, this group realized that existing residential thermostats drew needlessly high amounts of electricity, adversely impacting both the environment and customers’ pocketbooks. So, these innovators sought to design a revolutionary thermostat that was smart, easy to use, cost-effective and eco-friendly. And thus, Toronto-based ecobee was formed.
Over the past 15 years, this Canadian success story has faced its fair share of obstacles. Since 2010, ecobee has been involved in approximately 15 different patent infringement actions in district courts across the United States, as well as three separate investigations at the U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC). But, as in all classic success stories, ecobee has been able to overcome these obstacles. Notwithstanding the cases that are pending, ecobee has been able to secure either an outright victory or favourable settlement against its adversaries in the aforementioned patent infringement matters.