This case was last updated from PACER on 06/25/2021 at 07:48:51 (UTC).

EcoFactor, Inc. v. Johnson Controls Inc.

Case Summary

On April 26, 2021, EcoFactor, Inc. (“Plaintiff” or “EcoFactor”), represented by C. Jay Chung, Kristopher R. Davis, Marc A. Fenster and Reza Mirzaie of Russ August & Kabat, filed an intellectual property lawsuit against Johnson Controls Inc. (“Defendant”), seeking injunctive relief, supplemental damages with both pre- and post-judgement interest for alleged infringement of technology relating to smart thermostat systems, smart HVAC systems, and smart HVAC control systems technology. This case was filed in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Texas with Judge Alan D. Albright presiding. 

 

The Plaintiff asserted that EcoFactor is the legal owner by assignment of all rights, title and interest in United States and foreign patents and applications including United States Patent No. 8,423,322 (“’322 patent”), 8,019,567 (“’567 patent”), 10,612,983 (“’983 patent”), all of them titled as “system and method for evaluating changes in the efficiency of an HVAC system”, and 8,886,488 (“’488 patent”), entitled, “system and method for calculating thermal mass of a building,” (collectively, the “Asserted Patents”). 

 

In its complaint, the Plaintiff alleged that, “EcoFactor is a leader in smart home energy management services. EcoFactor delivers smart home energy management services that improve energy efficiency, reduce energy bills and vastly increase demand response efficacy – all while maintaining consumer comfort”. Further that “The Accused Products include thermostat systems that connect to and control an HVAC system, they include smart HVAC systems, and  components of such systems. These thermostat devices communicate over a network with other devices and systems offered by the Defendant. The Accused Products connect to the network managed by the Defendant via the Internet.”

 

The Plaintiff further alleged that, “When connected as designed, the Accused Products form a smart thermostat system, smart HVAC system, and/or smart HVAC control system. Defendant’s smart thermostat systems are “smart” because they are designed to connect to Defendant’s servers and data centres. These supports and are marketed as providing features to end users that analyse thermostat and HVAC system data gathered by the smart thermostat systems. The Accused Products constitute the “frontend” of the smart thermostat system, smart HVAC system, and/or smart HVAC control system. Such smart thermostat devices can be programmed using the servers and the network maintained by Defendant and which form the “backend” for the smart thermostat. Such smart thermostat systems can be programmed remotely with a web or mobile application offered by Defendant.”



The Plaintiff also alleged that, “The web or mobile application communicates with the smart thermostat via computer servers or data centers managed by the Defendant, who sells and imports the smart thermostat. Each Defendant allows an end user to use a web or mobile application on a mobile phone, tablet, laptop, or other computing device to control the smart thermostat systems, such as by adjusting temperature settings.”

 

There are four claims laid down by the Plaintiff, all of them relating to the alleged infringement of the Asserted Patents because Defendant had knowingly and intentionally induced infringement and violated 35 U.S.C. § 271(b).

 

In its prayer for relief the Plaintiff has requested the court for a judgment in favor of EcoFactor that Defendant has infringed, either literally and/or the Asserted Patents, permanent injunction prohibiting Defendant from further acts of infringement, damages, costs, expenses, with both pre- and post-judgment interest, and such other relief as the Court may deem appropriate and just under the circumstances.

 

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Case Details Parties Documents Dockets

 

Case Details

  • Case Number:

    6:21-CV-00413

  • Filing Date:

    04/26/2021

  • Case Status:

    Pending - Other Pending

  • Case Type:

    Intellectual Property - Patent

Judge Details

Presiding Judge

Alan D Albright

 

Party Details

Plaintiff

EcoFactor, Inc.

Defendant

Johnson Controls Inc.

Attorney/Law Firm Details

Plaintiff Attorneys

C. Jay Chung

Attorney at Russ August & Kabat

12424 Wilshire Blvd., 12Th Floor

Los Angeles, CA 90025

Kristopher R. Davis

Attorney at Russ August & Kabat

12424 Wilshire Blvd., 12Th Floor

Los Angeles, CA 90025

Marc A. Fenster

Attorney at Russ August & Kabat

12424 Wilshire Blvd., 12Th Floor

Los Angeles, CA 90025

Reza Mirzaie

Attorney at Russ August & Kabat

12424 Wilshire Blvd., 12Th Floor

Los Angeles, CA 90025

James N. Pickens

Attorney at Russ August & Kabat

12424 Wilshire Blvd, 12Th Floor

Los Angeles, CA 90025

Minna Y. Chan

Attorney at Russ August & Kabat

12424 Wilshire Blvd, 12Th Floor

Los Angeles, CA 90025

Defendant Attorneys

Indranil Mukerji

Attorney at Willkie Farr & Gallagher LLP

1875 K. Street, N.W.

Washington, DC 20006-1238

Stephen Marshall

Attorney at Willkie Farr & Gallagher LLP

1875 K.Street, N.W.

Washington, DC 20006-1283

 

Court Documents

#16

(#16) Standing Order regarding Scheduling Order. Signed by Judge Alan D Albright. (Entered: 06/17/2021)

#15

(#15) Standing Order regarding Scheduling Order. Signed by Judge Alan D Albright. (Entered: 06/17/2021)

14 #1

Proposed Order

#14

(#14) Unopposed MOTION for Extension of Time to File Answer or Respond to Complaint by Johnson Controls Inc.. (Attachments: #1 Proposed Order)(Marshall, Stephen) (Entered: 05/20/2021)

#13

(#13) NOTICE of Attorney Appearance by Indranil Mukerji on behalf of Johnson Controls Inc.. Attorney Indranil Mukerji added to party Johnson Controls Inc.(pty:dft) (Mukerji, Indranil) (Entered: 05/19/2021)

12 #2

Proposed Order

12 #1

Exhibit 1

#12

(#12) Unopposed MOTION to Stay Case by Johnson Controls Inc.. (Attachments: #1 Exhibit 1, #2 Proposed Order)(Marshall, Stephen) (Entered: 05/18/2021)

#11

(#11) RULE 7 DISCLOSURE STATEMENT filed by Johnson Controls Inc.. (Marshall, Stephen) (Entered: 05/18/2021)

1 #9

Civil Cover Sheet

1 #8

Exhibit 8

1 #7

Exhibit 7

1 #6

Exhibit 6

1 #5

Exhibit 5

1 #4

Exhibit 4

1 #2

Exhibit 2

1 #1

Exhibit 1

#1

(#1) COMPLAINT ( Filing fee $ 402 receipt number 0542-14738603), filed by EcoFactor, Inc.. (Attachments: #1 Exhibit 1, #2 Exhibit 2, #3 Exhibit 3, #4 Exhibit 4, #5 Exhibit 5, #6 Exhibit 6, #7 Exhibit 7, #8 Exhibit 8, #9 Civil Cover Sheet)(Mirzaie, Reza) (Entered: 04/26/2021)

19 More Documents Available
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Docket Entries

  • 06/16/2021
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  • Docket(#16) Standing Order regarding Scheduling Order. Signed by Judge Alan D Albright. (Entered: 06/17/2021)

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  • 06/16/2021
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  • Docket(#15) Standing Order regarding Scheduling Order. Signed by Judge Alan D Albright. (Entered: 06/17/2021)

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  • 06/15/2021
  • DocketCase Stayed (lad) (Entered: 06/15/2021)

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  • 06/15/2021
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  • DocketText Order GRANTING #12 Motion to Stay Case entered by Judge Alan D Albright. Having considered the motion and for good cause shown, the motion is GRANTED and ORDERS thefollowing:IT IS HEREBY ORDERED that this action is hereby stayed and administratively closed until the determination of the No. 337-TA-1258 Investigation becomes final, including any appeals and until the Commission proceedings are no longer subject to judicial review.(This is a text-only entry generated by the court. There is no document associated with this entry.) (hs) (Entered: 06/15/2021)

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  • 05/20/2021
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  • Docket(#14) Unopposed MOTION for Extension of Time to File Answer or Respond to Complaint by Johnson Controls Inc.. (Attachments: #1 Proposed Order)(Marshall, Stephen) (Entered: 05/20/2021)

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  • 05/19/2021
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  • Docket(#13) NOTICE of Attorney Appearance by Indranil Mukerji on behalf of Johnson Controls Inc.. Attorney Indranil Mukerji added to party Johnson Controls Inc.(pty:dft) (Mukerji, Indranil) (Entered: 05/19/2021)

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  • 05/18/2021
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  • Docket(#12) Unopposed MOTION to Stay Case by Johnson Controls Inc.. (Attachments: #1 Exhibit 1, #2 Proposed Order)(Marshall, Stephen) (Entered: 05/18/2021)

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  • 05/18/2021
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  • Docket(#11) RULE 7 DISCLOSURE STATEMENT filed by Johnson Controls Inc.. (Marshall, Stephen) (Entered: 05/18/2021)

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  • 05/18/2021
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  • Docket(#10) NOTICE of Attorney Appearance by Stephen Marshall on behalf of Johnson Controls Inc.. Attorney Stephen Marshall added to party Johnson Controls Inc.(pty:dft) (Marshall, Stephen) (Entered: 05/18/2021)

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  • 05/11/2021
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  • DocketText Order GRANTING #8 Motion to Appear Pro Hac Vice for Attorney James N. Pickens for EcoFactor, Inc. Before the Court is the Motion for Admission Pro Hac Vice. The Court, having reviewed the Motion, finds it should be GRANTED and therefore orders as follows: IT IS ORDERED the Motion for Admission Pro Hac Vice is GRANTED. IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that Applicant, if he/she has not already done so, shall immediately tender the amount of $100.00, made payable to: Clerk, U.S. District Court, in compliance with Local Rule AT-I (f)(2). Pursuant to our Administrative Policies and Procedures for Electronic Filing, the attorney hereby granted to practice pro hac vice in this case must register for electronic filing with our court within 10 days of this order entered by Judge Alan D Albright. (This is a text-only entry generated by the court. There is no document associated with this entry.) (mm6) (Entered: 05/11/2021)

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2 More Docket Entries
  • 04/28/2021
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  • Docket(#8) MOTION to Appear Pro Hac Vice by Kristopher R. Davis for James N. Pickens ( Filing fee $ 100 receipt number 0542-14749450) by on behalf of EcoFactor, Inc.. (Davis, Kristopher) (Entered: 04/28/2021)

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  • 04/28/2021
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  • Docket(#7) MOTION to Appear Pro Hac Vice by Kristopher R. Davis for Minna Y. Chan ( Filing fee $ 100 receipt number 0542-14749448) by on behalf of EcoFactor, Inc.. (Davis, Kristopher) (Entered: 04/28/2021)

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  • 04/26/2021
  • DocketAll parties shall flatten all documents before e-filing. All parties shall comply with the Standing Orders located at https://www.txwd.uscourts.gov/judges-information/standing-orders/. (Entered: 04/29/2021)

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  • 04/26/2021
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  • Docket(#6) Summons Issued as to Johnson Controls Inc.. (bw) (Entered: 04/26/2021)

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  • 04/26/2021
  • DocketCase assigned to Judge Alan D Albright. CM WILL NOW REFLECT THE JUDGE INITIALS AS PART OF THE CASE NUMBER. PLEASE APPEND THESE JUDGE INITIALS TO THE CASE NUMBER ON EACH DOCUMENT THAT YOU FILE IN THIS CASE. (bw) (Entered: 04/26/2021)

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  • 04/26/2021
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  • Docket(#5) REQUEST FOR ISSUANCE OF SUMMONS by EcoFactor, Inc.. (Mirzaie, Reza) (Entered: 04/26/2021)

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  • 04/26/2021
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  • Docket(#4) RULE 7 DISCLOSURE STATEMENT filed by EcoFactor, Inc.. (Mirzaie, Reza) (Entered: 04/26/2021)

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  • 04/26/2021
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  • Docket(#3) NOTICE of Related Cases by EcoFactor, Inc. (Mirzaie, Reza) (Entered: 04/26/2021)

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  • 04/26/2021
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  • Docket(#2) Notice of Filing of Patent/Trademark Form (AO 120). AO 120 forwarded to the Director of the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. (Mirzaie, Reza) (Entered: 04/26/2021)

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  • 04/26/2021
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  • Docket(#1) COMPLAINT ( Filing fee $ 402 receipt number 0542-14738603), filed by EcoFactor, Inc.. (Attachments: #1 Exhibit 1, #2 Exhibit 2, #3 Exhibit 3, #4 Exhibit 4, #5 Exhibit 5, #6 Exhibit 6, #7 Exhibit 7, #8 Exhibit 8, #9 Civil Cover Sheet)(Mirzaie, Reza) (Entered: 04/26/2021)

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