Sonos beat Google in court. Google responds to Sonos with cross-requests… And it’s only us users who have something to lose here!
There was a time when they were friends and worked together, but the good relationship between Sonos and Google is a thing of the past, as the Santa Barbara-based company that specializes in high-quality audio products in 2020 condemned the Mountain View giant for allegedly stealing some of his technology. and intellectual property of Chromecast and Google Home devices.
In fact, in two separate lawsuits, Sonos alluded to the theft of five patents on the design of its wireless speakers, patented technology related to multi-room setups that Sonos claims allowed Google to power its Google smart speakers. , as well as Chromecast when competing in the market.
Regardless, and without evaluating the cooperation between the two companies and these possible transfers of confidential information, the truth is that Sonos had won at first instance in court earlier this year, so Google did not want to lose the opportunity to fight back by opening new legal fronts and the filing of two new lawsuits in the court of the Northern District of California, which will surely serve as Google’s defense.
The colleagues from The Verge told us about it, and already in their explanations we can see Google’s intentions to recover lost ground, since the lawsuits are analogous with reference to the intellectual property, which now belongs to Mountain View, and that it would have been misused by Sonos.
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Apparently from Google, they claim that Sonos infringes up to seven patents in its portfolio, all of which focus on keyword registration, wireless device charging or multi-room voice detection functions, through which a group of speakers determines who should respond to a user request.
This was confirmed by José Castañeda, Google’s spokesperson on this matter, indicating that the lawsuits have already been filed to “defend our technology and challenge Sonos’ clear and continuous infringement of our patents”. Indeed, almost hinting at a counterattack that balances the scales, Google said that Sonos had “begun an aggressive and deceptive campaign against our products to the detriment of our mutual customers.”
Google will also file similar lawsuits with the US International Trade Commission in the coming days and will seek to block the importation of any Sonos products that infringe these patents from its proprietary intellectual property catalog.
Google’s counterattack looks like a tantrum, as the strategy is identical to two lawsuits over seven patents that Sonos at least allegedly infringes, and probably to gain more leverage over Sonos for a license negotiation.
The problem now is that, as with any relationship that has turned toxic, the ‘dimes and diretes’ were quick to come, so Sonos has already responded by talking about Google’s ‘bullying tactics’ and also stating that these lawsuits were just “retaliate against Sonos for exposing Google’s monopolistic practices” and try to avoid license payments to “crush a smaller competitor”. Everything in quotes are the exact words of Eddie Lazarus, Chief Legal Officer of Sonos.
At this point, and as always, we users can only hope for a positive agreement for both parties, because in the end, we are usually the losers in all these battles and patent wars. In fact, Google has already had to remove some features such as the ability to collectively adjust the volume of groups of speakers, while Sonos devices have also been left without Google features such as access to the Google Cast technology.
Sonos is suing Google and demanding the suspension of sales of the brand’s mobile phones, speakers and computers