08.01.20

Sonos sues Google after patent infringement accusations

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Sonos has sued Google for allegedly copying its speaker technology and undercutting it at market.

According to a report by The New York Times, the audio company has filed two lawsuits, accusing Google of infringing on five of its wireless speaker patents. Sonos is also asking for a ban on the sale of Google’s laptops, smartphones and speakers in the US.

Amazon was also accused of similar offences, but Sonos chose to take only Google to court, not wanting to risk battling two tech giants at the same time. However, discussions are taking place in order to allow Sonos’s CEO to testify to the House antitrust subcommittee against both companies. 

Allegations follow a partnership formed in 2013 that allowed Sonos speakers to support Google Play Music. Sonos claimed to have given Google the details of the technology behind its product range and has now accused Google of using the patented technology when it made its own smart speakers. 

Executives from Sonos admit that they were ‘naïve’ in the way it worked with Google. 

Sonos also claims that when Google and Amazon brought out their own smart speakers, they undercut Sonos’s prices as well as stealing its patented technology. 

In a statement, Patrick Spence, Sonos’s CEO, said: “Google has been blatantly and knowingly copying our patented technology. 

“Despite our repeated and extensive efforts over the last few years, Google has not shown any willingness to work with us on a mutually beneficial solution. We’re left with no choice but to litigate.”

Sonos has filed suits in both the Federal District Court in Los Angeles and at the United States International Trade Commission over five patents, but says it believes Google and Amazon have each violated around 100. The company has not disclosed damages sought after. 

A spokesperson for Google, Jose Casteneda, said: “We are disappointed that Sonos brought these lawsuits instead of continuing negotiations in good faith. We dispute these claims and will defend them vigorously.”

Natalie Hereth, Amazon’s spokesperson, commented: “The Echo family of devices and our multiroom music technology were developed independently by Amazon.”