That’s a 4 year old lawsuit…surely it has been settled by now but then again, the wheels of justice turn slowly.
Is this 3 1/2 years old?
Anyone know the result of this? Has it been settled or ruled on?
HomeSafe’s Approved Patents Include:
Patent No. 7,369,955 (22 Claims Approved) – Method for Residential Indoor Environmental Quality Inspection and Monitoring**: ** This patent covers the usage of an infrared camera to locate any thermal anomaly – including but not limited to an uncontrolled or hidden water intrusion – followed by obtaining data relating to indoor air quality, including visual confirmation of mold, collection of a mold sample, measurement of relative humidity, installation of a constant air/gas monitor system and/or other related measurements. A thermal anomaly is an unexplained difference in temperature from one area of a home to another, often indicating a problem that can’t be detected by ordinary means. Thermal anomalies signify a problem with faulty wiring, hidden moisture, missing insulation, heat/energy loss, termite infestations and more.
Patent No. 7,445,377 (7 Claims Approved) - Non-Destructive Residential Inspection Method and Apparatus**:** This patent covers HomeSafe’s method for creating a “thermal window” – that is, preparing a home for an infrared inspection by creating a temperature differential between the inside and the outside of the home, followed by obtaining temperature profiles of the home’s interior components and exterior components. These temperature profiles are then analyzed to uncover thermal anomalies indicating problems relating to (including but not limited to) structure, moisture or electrical issues.
Patent No. 7,385,483 (13 Claims Approved) - Infrared / Acoustic Method to Detect Termite Infestations in a Structure**: **This patent covers HomeSafe’s four-step procedure for uncovering termite activity in a building, including: 1) a traditional visual inspection; 2) infrared detection of hidden moisture that may indicate the presence of termites; 3) usage of a moisture meter to confirm the presence of moisture in the “suspicious” area identified by infrared; and 4) usage of HomeSafe’s acoustic sensor to detect the unique sound patterns of termites in the “suspicious” area and usage of HomeSafe’s pattern recognition software to analyze and confirm termite signals on the spot.
Patent No. 7,271,706 (13 Claims Approved) - Termite Acoustic Detection Device**: **This patent covers our acoustic termite detection device which uses acoustic sensors to hear termite sounds beyond the range of human hearing. Paired with an infrared thermal imaging camera to find hidden moisture associated with termite infestations, the acoustic device pinpoints the exact location of a termite nest.
Patent No. 7,434,990 (13 Claims Approved) - Additional Methods to Detect Termite Infestation in a Structure: This patent covers the usage of infrared scanning to detect moisture associated with termite infestations followed by additional methods, including a microwave motion detector, an X-ray detector, a gas detector or termite-sniffing dogs, to confirm the presence of termites.
Patent No. 7,429,928 (4 Claims Approved) - Method to Prevent Termite Infestations by Modifying Termite Behavior: This patent covers HomeSafe’s method to prevent termite infestations in a home by generating very low-amplitude acoustical vibrations within the home’s interior walls. These vibrations, which are inaudible to the human ear, disturb and repel termites and drive them out of the home. The specific vibrations have a custom-selected frequency and amplitude experimentally proven to be highly effective at modifying termite behavior.
In addition, three other patent applications are under review by the USPTO. Two of them relate to home inspections and the third is related to termite inspections. Their application numbers are as follows: 12/194,977; 12/209,590; and 11/893,204. Descriptions of these will be provided once approval of the various claims is provided by the USPTO.
[FONT=Palatino Linotype]ALL HOME INSPECTION PRICES INCLUDE INFRARED SCAN
< 1,000 sq. ft. $275 1,001-2,000 sq. ft. $325 2,001-3,000 sq. ft. $375 3,001-4,000 sq. ft. $425 4,001-5,000 sq. ft. $475 > 5,000 sq. ft. Call For Quote
** NOTE**: Add $50 if a crawlspace is present or if home is a foreclosure.
Sniff this, HomeSafe…;)[/FONT]
So, who knows what the result of the suit is.
On a side note, I get a kick out of this on the staff page of their website.
**Director of Inspection Training
**For eight years, xxxx xxxxxxxx served on the administrative staff at a public housing authority. In this capacity he performed duties as Administrative Assistant, Computer Specialist, and Occupancy Specialist. Prior to that, he owned and operated a computer retail store. He has also worked as a computer programmer for Security Savings and Loan and has owned his own computer-consulting firm.
A computer geek as Director of Inspection Training!
Didn’t that same resume just get someone elected president? :mrgreen:
Lot’s pf people believe that the HomeSafe threats are a joke.
While it may be *unlikely *Homesafe will go after end users (more likely, they hope that manufacturers’ of IR equipment will decide it’s cheaper to pay them a license fee than litigate) as I understand it if they chose to do so - which world be one way to pressure manufacturers - defense would be very expensive for an individual sued.
Homesafe has lately been saying the following:
“*What we do require is that home inspectors and pest companies that are utilizing IR in their business make sure that they are not utilizing our patented processes. We also encourage inspectors that are utilizing IR to consult with patent attorneys and review in detail the patent claims to make sure they are not infringing on the patents.”
Obviously, such consultation and development of a protocol to avoid infringement would be a substantial expense on an individual basis. The same is even more true of an attempt to invalidate or radically narrow the scope of the patents on ground of “prior art” or for other reasons - this effort instead a is a natural undertaking for a trade group or professional association.
Over the years NACHI has spent a a considerable amount of membership dues on litigation - much of in my opinion while it may have been beneficial to NACHI as a for-profit organization but has been of marginal direct benefit to membership.
IMO NACHI’s response to Homesafe - which given it’s requested licensing fees and the cost of defense if individual inspectors are sued is potentially a substantial economic burden on the home inspection industry - is a good test of whether the membership dues I’ve paid for the last few years will actually be deployed in direct support of the memberships’ interests.
I asked the same question directly when this issue first hit the boards. The initial response I received from INACHI was they did not see this as a threat to members. I believe the quote was something along the lines of “tell me who has been harmed.” That a proactive approach, such as you describe was not warranted. I disagree, but at that point decided not to count on INACHI for any help in this issue.
If something has changed with that opinion/position, I would be very interested to hear what it is, although a more private communication method than a public forum would be more appropriate.
I would also like some information on the settlement of this issue from FLIR. I just recieved a certified letter from HomeSafe and it seems they are targeting individual inspectors
Individual inspectors have always been their primary target. Hard to believe they’re still trying to pull this crap. Is your letter the same as the one attached to the PDF of the lawsuit?
I was using a Flir camera (in a petrochemical environment) long before HomeSafe became a Business…
The camera is a tool…
… which is older than HomeSafe…
The times that I have used one, are based upon the training I recieved long before HomeSafe became a business entity…
Like Maglite patenting the use of Flashlights to Law Enforcement and
suing every home inspector that buys or uses one… Hello???
My brother has been working with this company since its inception (over 15 years)
was the first termite dog that i was aware of back then…
I had investigated training of a dog (shorthair pointer) over 8 years ago. Cost was projected at $10,000 plus…
Ironic that homesafe claims they invented the technology 5 years ago
I would like to see a class-action lawsuit brought by FLIR, FLUKE, INTERNACHI, ASHI, and NAHI against Homesafe.
Sometimes, the best way to get folks together and talking, is to unite them against a common enemy.
Maybe the mini minneapolis association and HomeSafe should merge… keep all the dog crap in one pile.
I just recieved a certified letter from HomeSafe today, The letter is dated 2/1/2011. They demand $1,000.00 for “Pre-filing settlement fee for past unlicensed usage of infrared in building inspections.” I have 10 pages from them on how I am violating their patents. They clam to have the “exclusive rights to utilize the procedures and equipment” that they have been “developing for more than a decade.” So by using the word “infrared” in my website is a “violation under United States Code 35, Section 271” so they say. This came from TANNEHILL & CARMEAN, PLLC/ attorneys and counselors at law.
Does anyone have any thoughts on this matter?
DBH Home & Property Inspections LLC.
Donald B. Hatfield
I would send them a registered letter and on the front would be stamped KMSA representing Kiss My Sweet A**
Cal Joe Ferry he is responding on my behalf