Sonos wins legal battle against Google infringing patents meaning big changes to Google speakers

The US International Trade Commission has ruled that Google has infringed on five Sonos patents, relating to how the smart speakers synchronise with each other to play multizone audio.

As a result of the court decision, Google will have to change the way its speakers work. The trade commission has given Google 60 days to get its devices into compliance.

Changes will need to be made to volume controls when in a multizone set up, meaning users will now have to control each speaker individually rather than as a group. Controlling the volume using a phone’s volume rocker will also no longer be possible.

Devices affected by the ruling include the Google Home and Nest Hub (2nd Gen). It will also affect other speaker brands who use Google Cast such as JBL or Lenovo. In this case, the speakers will need to be updated to the latest Cast firmware.

This decision also means that Google cannot import any of its smart speakers or other smart home devices that use the infringed patents in its systems to the US.

An initial decision of the same ruling was made in August last year as the first step in a lengthy legal battle between the two tech giants.

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