Google sues Sonos, accusing it of continuing patent infringement

Sonos shares fell immediately after Google announced they were turning the screws on the wireless audio company, after a new lawsuit against the US audio company for infringement of a number of Google patents was filed. filed overnight.

Originally it was Sonos taking legal action against Google with Sonos winning the first round, now it looks like Google is set to sue Sonos who they accused of an aggressive and deceptive campaign regarding Google and the use of network audio technology.

Google claims the wireless speaker company is infringing on a number of its patents relating to smart speakers and voice control technology.

A spokesperson for the major research and technology company, José Castañeda, said the lawsuits were brought to “defend our technology and challenge Sonos’ clear and continued infringement of our patents.” Castañeda said Sonos had “launched an aggressive and deceptive campaign against our products, at the expense of our mutual customers.”

Sonos, which in the past has had no problem trying to drown out Sonos speakers from existing customers in a bid to generate new sales, called the new lawsuits a “bullying tactic” and said that they were intended to “retaliate against Sonos for exposing Google’s monopoly”. practices,” allow Google to avoid royalty payments and “crush a smaller competitor,” Sonos chief legal officer Eddie Lazarus told The Verge. “It will not succeed.”

It’s the latest volley in a back-and-forth battle over wireless speakers that has so far involved multiple Sonos lawsuits, a Google lawsuit and a ruling in favor of Sonos that led to the removing features from Google products.

These new lawsuits allege infringement of seven additional patents.

The initial trial focuses on keyword detection and wireless charging, and the other revolves around how a group of speakers determines which one should respond to voice input.

Both lawsuits were filed this morning in the United States District Court for the Northern District of California.

Google plans to file similar lawsuits with the United States International Trade Commission in the coming days that will seek to ban imports of any counterfeit Sonos products, Castañeda told The Verge.

This could affect shipments to Australia if successful.

The legal skirmish began in 2020 when Sonos initially sued Google over multiroom speaker technology.

The two companies had teamed up years earlier to run Google services on Sonos speakers, and Sonos claimed Google continued to steal its speaker tech to build Google Home and other devices. . Google counter-sued months later, claiming Sonos had also infringed on a number of its patents. Then Sonos sued again. Finally, in January, two years after the first lawsuit was filed, the United States International Trade Commission ruled in favor of Sonos, finding that Google had infringed Sonos’ patents.

In response, Google had to adjust the functionality of some of its products. This included Google removing the ability to adjust the volume for one group of speakers at a time – quite an annoying change for owners of multiple Google speakers. Today’s lawsuits appear to be an attempt by Google to leverage Sonos as two spars on features.

Over the past year, Sonos stock has fallen 33%, with the company due to release its latest results next week.

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