On Friday, Sonos won a preliminary decision against Google in a patent battle. The judge decided that Google infringed on five of Sonos’ patents.
The legal dispute began in January 2020, when Sonos filed a lawsuit against Google in federal court. Google sued for infringing on five of the Sonos patents related to speaker technology. Also, In the lawsuit, Sonos claimed Google stole and used technology provided to it as part of the partnership. Depending on the outcome of the case, the ITC may decide to ban several Google products. The restriction may apply to smart speakers, Chromecasts, and potentially Google’s Pixel smartphones.
Google not only denied the claims but also filed a countersuit alleging Sonos infringed on Google’s patents. Sonos filed a new lawsuit against Google in September of last year, this time alleging violation of five more patents.
Google spokesperson José Castaeda provided The Verge with the following statement:
“We do not use Sonos’ technology, and we compete on the quality of our products and the merits of our ideas. We disagree with this preliminary ruling and will continue to make our case in the upcoming review process.”
Sonos fights tech giants on behalf of all companies, big or small
Although this is a preliminary decision, you can argue that it is a significant one. In this regard, Sonos says in a statement that its effort against Google is meant to “ensure all companies, regardless of size, receive fair compensation for investing in the development of industry leading technology.”
The International Trade Commission will also have to evaluate the case and make a judgment on December 13th. Additionally, The decision is confined to a particular case, despite the fact that the two companies are involved in a plethora of other cases.
On a conference call with analysts on Wednesday, Eddie Lazarus, Sonos’s chief legal officer, estimated that Google had infringed on more than 150 of the company’s patents, labeling Google a “serial infringer.” However, it brought concerns to the commission on just five patents. The case in front of the commission is just “the tip of the iceberg,” he said.
Mr. Lazarus said in a statement on Friday that: “This decision reaffirms the strength and breadth of our portfolio, marking a promising milestone in our long-term pursuit to defend our innovation against misappropriation by Big Tech monopolies.”
Sonos has said that Amazon is infringing on its patents as well – an allegation that Amazon denies. Sonos officials say they only sued Google because they were unsure they could fight two tech titans at once.