Sonos sues Google for allegedly stealing audio tech, seeks ban on sale of Google’s key products
Sonos claims Google stole as many as five of its patents.Updated: Jan 08, 2020 15:14 IST
Audio company Sonos has sued Google for allegedly infringing upon five of its patents. The company has also sought a ban on the sale of Google’s speakers, phones, and laptops in the US.
The audio company in its lawsuit claimed Google stole its audio technology when the two companies had entered into a partnership in 2013, reports The New York Times. At the time, Google was looking for third-party hardware partners to bundle its music service.
Under the partnership, Sonos shared details on how its speakers can wireless interact with each other. A couple of years later, Google launched “Chromecast Audio” which made any traditional speaker into a smart one. Later, Google launched self-branded smart home speakers, which quickly outpaced Sonos’ sales.
Sonos executives said they had informed Google about the patent infringement. The audio company also claims Amazon’s products also infringe upon its patents.
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“Google has been blatantly and knowingly copying our patented technology,” Patrick Spence, Sonos’s chief executive is quoted as saying. “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. We’re left with no choice but to litigate.”
Google was quick to respond to Sonos’ claims. A company spokesperson told the NYT that the two firms discussed each others’ intellectual property for years, “and we are disappointed that Sonos brought these lawsuits instead of continuing negotiations in good faith.”
“We dispute these claims and will defend them vigorously,” he said.
Amazon, meanwhile, said its speakers don’t infringe upon Sonos’ patents. “The Echo family of devices and our multi-room music technology were developed independently by Amazon,” an Amazon spokesperson is quoted as saying.
According to The New York Times, Sonos’ lawsuit also marks the company’s efforts to reduce dependence on Google and Amazon.