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U.S. ITC to open probe into smart thermostat patent complaint

Signage is seen outside of the U.S. International Trade Commission in Washington, D.C.

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The U.S. International Trade Commission said Tuesday it would investigate a patent infringement complaint filed by a California-based company over smart thermostats and other related systems.

Privately held EcoFactor Inc claims a number of major smart thermostats and related systems infringe on its patents, including Alphabet Inc's Google Nest, Emerson Electric Co, Honeywell International Inc, Johnson Controls and Siemens AG. EcoFactor said the companies infringed on its patents for software that actively manages thermostats "in intelligent ways" including using "big-data analytics and machine learning algorithms."

(Reporting by David Shepardson)