Sonos seeks ban on Google products for patent theft - Mobile World Live

Sonos seeks ban on Google products for patent theft

08 JAN 2020

Audio company Sonos launched legal action against Google, claiming the search giant stole technology which enables its wireless speakers to connect and synchronise with one another, The New York Times (NYT) reported.

The newspaper stated Sonos had sued Google for infringing on five of its patents, and the company is subsequently seeking a ban on the sale of Google’s speakers, smartphones and laptops in the US.

Sonos claimed Google gained knowledge of its patented “multi-room” technology in 2013, after the companies struck an agreement to integrate Google’s Play Music platform into the Sonos platform. The technology allows users to play the same, or different songs through different speakers in their homes.

Notably, at the time, Google did not make smart speakers and was not considered a threat.

The companies have expanded their partnership over the years and Sonos also integrated Google Assistant into its products in 2019.

Sonos CEO Patrick Spence told NYT it had made “repeated and extensive efforts” over the last few years to solve the issue with Google, but the company had not shown any willingness to work on a mutually beneficial solution. “We’re left with no choice but to litigate,” he said.

A Google representative said the company will dispute the claims.

Undercutting competition
Google and Amazon’s push into the smart speaker space proved bad news for Sonos, with the pair quickly building a dominant position in the sector.

Sonos previously made similar patent infringement claims against Amazon, however it decided to sue only Google as it cannot afford to fight both companies in court at the same time, NYT reported.

In its lawsuit, Sonos said Google “subsidised the prices of its patent infringing products”.

Notably, while Sonos speakers cost hundreds of dollars, Google prices for speakers start at $35.



Kavit Majithia

Kavit joined Mobile World Live in May 2015 as Content Editor. He started his journalism career at the Press Association before joining Euromoney’s graduate scheme in April 2010. Read More >>

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