Sonos Sues Google for Patent Infringement Again

Posted on September 30, 2020 by Paul Thurrott in Google, Music + Videos, Sonos, Smart Home with 7 Comments

For the second time this year, smart speaker maker Sonos has sued Google for infringing on its patent portfolio.

Sonos, as you may recall, first sued Google in January for infringing 100 of its patents in its own line of Home- (now Nest-) branded smart speakers. Google countersued a few months later, alleging that the smart speaker maker made false claims against it and stole its intellectual property, which would be hilarious if this wasn’t so serious.

So what’s this new suit all about? It appears that Sonos has found five more patents that Google is infringing on.

“Sonos has already sued Google for infringing patents on its first group of inventions involving the set-up, control, playback, and synchronization of wireless playback devices,” the new suit explains. “This case involves a second group of inventions which … tackle the novel technological challenges of how to stream music from a cloud-based service, how to create, manage, and invoke ‘zone scenes’ to configure how multiple playback devices work together, and how to dynamically adjust the equalization of a playback device based on the environment in which the playback device is operating.”

The Sonos legal filing details the history of Google’s various infringements a second time. But it also provides more information about each of the new infringements, if you’re curious. That it comes on the eve of a Google product launch that is expected to include a new generation of Google Nest smart speakers is, perhaps, not coincidental.

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Comments (7)

7 responses to “Sonos Sues Google for Patent Infringement Again”

  1. sabertooth920

    Google should just buy Sonos, and end this nonsense.

    • stevek

      In reply to sabertooth920:

      Please no. And it'd never go through; that'd be like saying Microsoft should have just bought out Apple and Sun in the 90's to stop their nonsense.

    • Paul Thurrott

      I'm surprised that Apple didn't buy them along with Beats.
      • jonsimon

        In reply to paul-thurrott:

        I am surprised SONOS aren't suing Apple too. Don't their (not as popular) smart speaker work in a simar manner as Google's?


        • jgraebner

          In reply to jonsimon:

          Amazon would seem like an even more likely target, but it's possible that either or both of those companies have licensed Sonos' patents.


        • esmcelroy

          In reply to jonsimon:

          Possibly, but it depends on which patents we're talking about. Apple uses their own Airplay tech to stream and sync between devices. Not sure about the streaming and optimization ones, but I sense that Apple probably is fine on the optimization/equalization one, and they only really allow Apple Music right now as far as music streaming goes, so that's probably also proprietary. This is probably reasonably targeted at Google only.

        • Paul Thurrott

          I don't believe they've ever mentioned Apple. But both Amazon and Google have allegedly stolen Sonos tech.
  2. bbennett40

    "Keep digging team! We're bound to find SOMETHING that sticks!"

  3. jgraebner

    Always fascinating how companies can sue each other and be in business together at the same time. Sonos' newest speakers generally support Google assistant. Hopefully the battle between them doesn't change that, as I use that feature a lot.