Sonos is suing Google for allegedly stealing patented speaker technology
The smart speaker space is one of the hottest battlegrounds in the tech world right now. These devices have slowly made their way into millions of homes across the globe, giving the companies behind them ecosystem lock-in power and access to tons of information. Google has become a major player in this market, but Sonos is claiming that Google stole their technology in order to do so.
The New York Times is reporting that Sonos has filed two lawsuits against Google. Sonos claims Google stole its multiroom speaker technology after a 2013 partnership. On top of that, the company is asking for a sales ban on the products that have benefited from Google’s alleged IP theft, which includes phones, laptops, and speakers.
The 2013 partnership allowed Sonos speakers to support Google Play Music, but Sonos is claiming Google used patented technology in the Chromecast Audio, Google Home devices, and Pixel devices. Sonos also says Google subsidized the products that used their technology, greatly undercutting Sonos’ more expensive products. The company says it warned Google about this in 2016, 2018, and last year, accusing the company of infringing on 100 patents.
In the lawsuit, Sonos points out similarities between new Google products and its existing technologies. They mention things like synchronizing audio across speaker groups, adjusting group volume, and setting up services on a local wireless network. Sonos is also accusing Google and Amazon of sabotaging their attempts to make a device that would have allowed users to use both Google Assistant and Alexa. In fact, Sonos claims Amazon has also violated its patents, but the company doesn’t want to be “battling two tech giants in court at once.”
Google and Amazon have both already responded to the lawsuit, denying infringement. Google says they dispute the claims and “will defend them vigorously.”
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