Green Patent Acquisitions: Acuity Buys Adura

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Adura Technologies (Adura) is a San Francisco company that provides wireless lighting controls and energy management systems. Adura was recently acquired by a large Atlanta-based commercial lighting company called Acuity Brands.

Adura’s patent portfolio includes at three U.S. patents and at least five published patent applications. The patents are U.S. Patent Nos. 7,839,017 (’017 Patent); 7,925,384 (’384 Patent); and 8,275,471 (’471 Patent).

The ’017 Patent is entitled “Systems and methods for remotely controlling an electrical load” and directed to an adapted switch (205) including an adapter (225) and switch (105).

The adapter (225), in turn, includes a sensor (305), a communications interface (310), and a power unit (315), which provides power to the sensor (305) and the communications interface (310).

The sensor (305) is configured to detect a state of the switch (105), and the communications interface (310) wirelessly transmits a signal based on the detected state of the switch (105) to a controller (230), which controls a load device (110) based on the signal.

According to the ’017 Patent, the switch (105) may be electrically isolated from the load device so physical manipulation of the switch does not affect the electrical load with respect to the load device (110). Because the state of the switch (110) can be detected by the sensor (305) using a low voltage signal, this configuration requires very little power.

The ’384 Patent is entitled “Location-based provisioning of wireless control systems” and directed to methods of provisioning wireless control comprising the step (210) of broadcasting a message from a computing device (120) to a communication network (100) including one or more control devices (130A-C).

In step 220, a response is received from a control device (130A). In the next step (230), a “scene” is assigned to the control device 130A. A scene is defined by the ’384 Patent to be a set of one or more specifications concerning operation of light fixtures associated with the control device (130A).

In step 240, a scene command is generated based on the assigned scene. The scene command is then transmitted to the control device (130A) in step 250.

The ’471 Patent is entitled “Sensor interface for wireless control” and relates to systems and methods for enabling wireless communication with wired sensors.

Adura also has invested in its branding and enforced one of its trademark registrations back in 2009.

According to this Greentech Media story, this is the first in what could be a “wave of acquisitions” in the “still-nascent” networked lighting space.

Eric Lane is a patent attorney at McKenna Long & Aldridge LLP in San Diego and the author of Green Patent Blog. Mr. Lane can be reached at elane@mckennalong.com

About Author

Walter’s contributions to CleanTechies over the past 4 years have been instrumental in growing the publications social media channels via his ongoing editorial and data driven strategies. He is the founder and managing director of Sunflower Tax, a renewable energy tax and finance consultancy based in San Diego, California. Active in the San Diego clean technology community, participating in events sponsored by CleanTech San Diego, EcoTopics, and Cleantech Open San Diego, Walter has also been a presenter at numerous California Center for Sustainability (CCSE) programs. He currently serves as an adjunct professor at the University of San Diego School of Law where he teaches a course on energy taxation and policy.

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