Sonos, maker of audio systems and speakers said they have initiated legal proceedings against Google on charges of infringing on at least five of its patents. The audio company said they have filed two lawsuits against Google and is also seeking a ban on Google’s laptops, phones and speakers in the US as a fallout of another case filed with the International Trade Commission against the Mountain View company.
As per the lawsuit filed by Sonos, it is the company’s multiroom speaker technology that it is alleging Google to be using illegally on the latter’s products line-up. That started with the Chromecast Audio which Google has stopped selling any more. Sonos though has claimed Google continues to use Sonos proprietary technology on several Google devices.
Sonos, however, has had a nice partnership going with Google since 2013. It was then a win-win situation for both the companies as Google lacked a speaker in its products portfolio. Sonos enjoyed a wider reach with the integration of Google Play Music on its speakers. Google first got access to the Sonos multiroom speaker tech thanks to the 2013 partnership.
What has also irked Sonos is that Google has gone on to sell its devices at subsidized rates which Sonos claims has hit its brand value. That is not all as the company is also accusing Google of using its speakers to extract user info from buyers. The list of Google devices that Sonos claimed relies on its patented technology includes Chromecast and Chromecast Ultra, Nest Mini, Nest Hub, Nest Hub Max, and Nest Wi-Fi Point, along with the Pixel phones, Pixel Slate tablet, and Pixelbook laptop.
Sonos also added they have the same sort of allegations against Amazon but chose not to engage with the two tech behemoths at the same time. So, while Google seems to be its first target, the audio company hasn’t confirmed if or when they plan to sue Amazon as well.
Sonos also said their move to sue Google can well be seen as the last resort as they have repeatedly warned Google before filing the lawsuits. That started around 2016 when Google first launched its own Google Home range of smart speakers. By 2019, it accused Google of having infringed on 100 of Sonos’ patents so far.
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Google, on its part, denied the allegations and has termed them completely baseless. The search giant also vowed to defend its stand in the court of law and lamented Sonos’ stand to sue them in the first place instead of having discussed the matter with them.