Patent wars are an increasing theme in smartphones as key acquisitions, like Google’s purchase of Motorola Mobility, are often stoked by the desire to grow a company’s patent library. That’s not an option for a startup like Nest, which sells a sleek new smart thermostat. Nest woke up this morning to a patent lawsuit from $46 billion Honeywell. The infringement claims range from the questions users are asked when the thermostat tries to learn their behavior to the rotating mechanical user interface design. It’s often shocking to learn that asking a smart thermostat owner a question like “What temperature do you like when the heat is on?” in order to learn their behavior is patentable. Let’s hope that connected home energy management products like the Nest don’t face the barrage of patent lawsuits that have come to characterize mobile. After all, Samsung, Apple, and Google all have a lot more money than startups like Nest to fight lawsuits.