Google loses Sonos smart speakers patent fight



Google loses Sonos smart speakers patent fight

Smart-speaker firm Sonos has won a major legal battle against over patents it said the firm had infringed.

 

The decision means that Google’s smart speakers and other smart home that uses the offending systems cannot be imported to the United States.

 

Sonos contends that Google will have to “degrade” its speakers if it refuses to pay Sonos a licensing fee.

 

But the tech giant says it has already devised workarounds to prevent any interruptions.

 

Google says it disagrees with the ruling, by the International Trade Commission, and will “continue to defend ourselves against Sonos’ frivolous claims about our partnership and intellectual property”.

 

The commission found that Google had infringed all five patents Sonos complained about, upholding an initial decision made in August 2021.

 

 

The patents relate to multi-room speakers, and how they synchronise to play music at the same volume across multiple rooms or “zones” in a home.

 

Multi-room audio was Sonos’ standout feature when it first launched, winning the fledgling company an innovation award at the tech shows in 2005.

 

Sonos chief legal officer Eddie Lazarus said in a statement that the features affected by the US ruling included “the set up for controlling home audio systems, the synchronisation of multiple speakers, the independent volume control of different speakers, and the stereo pairing of speakers”.

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