Sonos Suing Google for Stealing Wireless Speaker Tech

Posted on January 7, 2020 by Mehedi Hassan in Amazon, Google, Hardware with 9 Comments

Sonos is suing Google for stealing the wireless speaker technology the company pioneered with its high-end speakers. The company today announced it’s suing Google for not only infringing up to 100 Sonos patents, but it’s also requesting a sales ban on Google speakers, as well other Google devices like laptops and phones.

Sonos claims that Google got access to its multi-room audio technology via a partnership back in 2013, which involved the companies working together to bring Google Play Music to the Sonos platform. Google apparently started infringing Sonos patents just 2 years later with the Chromecast Audio.

Sonos warned Google of infringing its patents multiple times, first in 2016 after the company launched the original Google Home speaker. The company warned Google multiple times after that, with the Home Max/Mini launch in 2018, and most recently in February 2019.

“Google is an important partner with whom we have collaborated successfully for years, including bringing the Google Assistant to the Sonos platform last year. However, Google has been blatantly and knowingly copying our patented technology in creating its audio products. 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.” Sonos CEO Patrick Spence told The Verge. 

Sonos is also accusing Google of subsidizing the prices of its patent infringing products, with products that cost as little as $35. The company also claims Amazon is infringing Sonos patents with Echo speakers, but it’s only taking legal action against Google for now as it wants to avoid fighting against two tech giants at once.

The lawsuit comes at a time where large tech companies are under-pressure for anti-competitive tactics. And although Sonos relies on Google and Amazon for the smart assistants on its own speakers, the company’s lawsuit against Google seems to be a long time coming. Still, it’s unclear as to why exactly Sonos waited so long to take Google to the court.

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