2GIG is not Honeywell's first patent battle
Since the lawsuit filed by Honeywell Security against 2GIG Technologies is the first patent infringement case I've written about in my nearly five-year tenure here at Security Systems News, I was wondering how common these kinds of suits are. I found one from the late 90s where Honeywell (actually Honeywell's predecessor, Pittway/Ademco) was the one being sued. Any of you remember this one? ITI (which was eventually bought by GE Security) sued Pittway for patent infringement in 1998 over "the so-called '713 patent." (That's U.S. Patent No. 4,855,713, for those not hip to patent lingo.) The patent had to do with a "Learn Mode" feature in ITI's wireless systems. This case had some interesting twists and turns. First, in March 1998, a Minnesota District Court sided with ITI, and awarded the company close to $36 million in damages, which according to the National Law Journal, was the largest patent infringement verdict in 1998. The judge entered an injunction against Pittway, which prohibited them from making and selling the Ademco 5800 Series wireless products. But wait, in June of 1999, the Federal Circuit Court of Appeals, in a unanimously decision, reversed the injunction and said Pittway didn't have to pay ITI $36 million after all. Not done yet. Between the initial decision in 1998 and the reversal in 1999, ITI filed a second lawsuit alleging that Pittway's QED system infringed on the same ITI "Learn Mode" patent. I don't think ITI was successful with that suit either; I'm still checking that out. Maybe it's just ancient history, maybe there are some similarities between this case and the 2GIG case? What do you think?