Here is a not too interesting news on the surface, Ecobee and Nest sign a confidential cross-license agreement.
Here is the press release they put out today on June 02, 2017.
“PALO ALTO, Calif. & TORONTO–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Nest Labs, Inc. and ecobee Inc. today announced that they have reached a long-term patent cross-license agreement reflecting the respective strength of the companies’ investments in innovation. Nest and ecobee believe that this patent accord promotes product innovation and consumer choice in the market for smart home products. The details of the agreement are confidential.”
What does this agreement could mean?
It’s most likely another agreement by Google and Ecobee to stop possible patent lawsuits in the future. Ecobee and Nest have been negotiating this agreement for the past year as far as we know. Google have recently signed similar agreements with Verizon, and Honeywell.
There are two things sticking out of this agreement tho. First of all, this is not a result of a legal battle between the two companies. Looks like Google learned its lesson that legal battle is a losing game for both companies in the tech sector after the dragged out lawsuit against Honeywell. The second interesting part is, why the secrecy? If you are going to sign a confidential agreement with another party, Why would announce it with a press release and say that the details agreement is confidential?
These agreement have been signed by numerous companies in the past (hundreds of them according to Google), and this is the first one with a confidentiality clause in it. We wonder there is more to it than a simple agreement about a patent lawsuit or something bigger.
Is Ecobee betting against Amazon?
With the release of Amazon Echo Show, it’s possible that Ecobee making a move to switch sides to Google. Why would the release of Amazon Echo Show scare Alexa enabled smart device producers to switch sides? Because Amazon just eliminated Nucleus Anywhere Intercom from the market and created a very similar device in its place called Amazon Echo Show. This is very alarming for the smart things makers, What will the Amazon will eliminate next? Perhaps a smart thermostat? Why not.
It’s possible that Amazon is working on a smart thermostat behind the scenes, to replace Ecobee. As a precaution, Ecobee might have already signed a deal to switch from Amazon to Google.
But resistance is futile because if Amazon wants to take over smart thermostat market, they can. Nobody can stop them. Because Amazon is the most trusted company on the planet now according to latest consumer surveys.
Google losing against Amazon
When a new product is released, the first page of Google results is about that product, well most of the time. Something weird happened after the Amazon Echo Show release tho. Google algorithm has magically decided to put this “Why wait for the Echo Show when you can already get” article to the top of search results when you Google for Amazon Echo Show. It’s an article about a competing product coming on top of the search results. This is very unusual from an algorithm perspective. But still, Amazon’s new Echo Show is already a best-seller even though it’s currently only available for pre-order.
Google knows that they are fighting a losing battle against Amazon at the moment. They got the email, browser info, search engine behavior, location data of the world in their hand, but they are losing the battle to sell products to Amazon. Becuase of “Trust”, People do not trust the advertisement anymore. Nobody is clicking the ads in search results or websites because people are sick of it. People rather ask advice about a product from their friends or read an honest review from a writer they trust. This is where Amazon shines, people trust Amazon, they trust that they will get the best deal, fastest delivery and can return the product without worry, at least most of the time.