Google hit back in an escalating row with Sonos, filing a countersuit against the audio company for infringing on five patents and accusing it of making false claims about their partnership.

In a complaint filed with a US court, Google said Sonos was using “substantial volumes” of its technology without permission, including patented innovations in search, software, networking, audio processing, and digital media management and streaming, across hardware and software.

“Sonos is actively infringing Google’s intellectual property. Sonos has no licence to use Google’s patents. Because Sonos refuses to cease its infringement, and is unwilling to recognise the value of Google’s technology through a licence, Google has filed this suit to protect its intellectual property,” it asserted in the filing.

Google’s retort comes after Sonos launched legal action in Janaury accusing the search giant of stealing its technology and infringing five patents.

The company subsequently sought a ban on the sale of Google’s speakers, smartphones and laptops in the US.

A month later, the US International Trade Commission weighed into the row, launching an investigation into speakers made by Google.

False claims
The companies partnered in 2013 to integrate Google’s Play Music platform into Sonos speakers, with the technology allowing users to play the same or other songs on different speakers throughout their homes.

Over the years, the partnership evolved: Sonos integrated AI voice platform Google Assistant into its products in 2019.

In its filing, Google continued to state Sonos had made “false claims about the companies’ shared work and Google’s technology”.

“While Google rarely sues other companies for patent infringement, it must asserts its intellectual property rights here,” it added.

In response, Sonos CEO Patrick Spence stated Google had used its “size and breadth to try find areas in which they can retaliate, rather than pay what it owes”.