Patent War: Google Strikes Back at Sonos

Google is attacking Sonos again. While US connected speaker maker Sonos has already filed several patent infringement lawsuits against Google, the US giant filed two new lawsuits on Monday, August 8, 2022. One of them claims that Sonos speakers with one voice control feature infringe three of its patents. and another that Sonos is infringing on four different patents.

Keyword to activate voice command

Google claims that it has the technology to activate voice control with a keyword, which improves the power consumption of products, as well as battery management solutions. Complaints also concern how the speaker identifies the main speaker in the group when several people are talking, adds TechCrunch. Both complaints have been filed in a California court, but Google plans to file these complaints with the US International Trade Commission (ITC), the US agency in charge of international trade, to ban the import of any product that infringes the aforementioned patents. .

Sonos “launched an aggressive and misleading campaign against our products to the detriment of our common customers,” Google spokesman José Castaneda told Bloomberg. “We prefer innovation to litigation, but their actions leave us no choice but to defend our technology and challenge Sonos’ clear and ongoing infringement of our patents,” he added.

Sonos wins

Sonos General Counsel Eddie Lazarus said courts have “repeatedly upheld Sonos’ claims that Google is infringing on its patented smart speaker technology.” “Google’s new lawsuits are a scare tactic designed to get back at Sonos for exposing Google’s monopoly practices, avoid paying Sonos a fair fee for the nearly 200 patents it currently infringes, and squash a smaller competitor whose innovations it stole.” he added. succeed.”

Google and Sonos have been at odds over technology patents related to their smart speakers for some time now. Before moving to this stage, the two companies worked together. But the relationship quickly soured, with Sonos accusing Google of infringing on several of its smart speaker patents. Complaints were filed in 2020. Earlier this year, the US International Trade Commission confirmed that Google was indeed guilty of infringing several patents. The company was forced to modify its product for fear of being banned from importing connected speakers into the US market.

Google win

But last week, a Californian judge sided with Google in overturning a Sonos patent that moved the playback queue of tracks from one column to another, TechCrunch recalls. The battle between the two companies continues. At its core: the question of royalties paid for the use of technology patented by another company.

The tech community, and especially the smartphone community, is known for its big patent battles. Recently, Ericsson and Apple, unable to agree, got into such a fight. Ericsson accuses Apple of using its 5G patents in its iPhones without permission.

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