SAN JOSE, Calif. — Echelon, a leading open-standard energy control networking company, announced that it has been granted its 100th patent by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office.

“Our 100th patent is the latest in a string of Echelon patents providing innovations that help companies build control network devices and systems that operate more reliably and cost-effectively,” said Bob Dolin, Echelon chief technology officer.

“Increasing system reliability, affordability and scalability while driving down cost points and speeding time to market for our customers has been the focus of our innovation throughout our company history.”

Echelon was founded in 1988 with a goal of enabling networks to extend beyond computers into control systems to enable smart utility networks, buildings, factories, and homes to run more efficiently, lower costs, and improve quality, productivity, and comfort. The firm’s energy control networking technology has a three-tier architecture: intelligence at the field level within smart devices; intelligence in control nodes where control networks connect into data networks and the Internet; and intelligence at the enterprise. Echelon said the firm’s patent portfolio addresses the key requirements of control networking that enable that hierarchy to deliver reliable, large scale, and low cost solutions with open interfaces that support an ecosystem of partners.

Energy control networking systems require use of a shared-data model to guarantee reliability, survivability, and scalability, said Echelon. Many of its patents cover the fundamental technology necessary for a shared-data model. “Echelon licenses many of those patents without charge under various standards,” Dolin said, giving as an example the patents related to the EN-14908 device communication protocol widely used in building automation and energy management.

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Publication date: 08/22/2011