Is Apple Taking Sides in This Nasty Lawsuit?

Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) seems to have given its vote of approval to Nest Labs with reports that the latter’s smart thermostat, part of a nasty lawsuit for alleged patent violation, will soon be available at the former’s retail stores.

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Nest was created by a past senior vice president of Apple’s iPod division, has several other employees who were formerly with the electronics company, and has other similarities with it. The thermostat is said to have an Apple-like clean design, with a round face that is similar to the circular control panel of an iPod. It can be controlled through a web interface or an iPhone or iPad application. The device learns its users’ daily patterns and adapts the house’s temperature to those habits.

It gained rapid popularity in the connected-home-device category upon its release, selling out in pre-orders and leaving several hopeful buyers waiting.

Earlier this year, competitor Honeywell International (NYSE:HON) sued Nest, alleging it violated several of its patents. Nest, being represented by former Apple chief patent counsel Richard Lutton Jr. in the court case, responded with a countersuit of its own and called Honeywell’s complaints “meritless allegations.”

At the moment, Nest is available online, at Lowes (NYSE:LOW) retail stores, and a few other Nest-approved stores.

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