- Sonos is suing Google in federal court, alleging that the tech giant stole its technology, according to The New York Times.
- Sonos alleges that Google infringed on five of its patents, including tech that lets smart speakers pair and sync.
- “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,” Sonos CEO Patrick Spence said in a statement.
- Sonos wants to ban Google’s smartphones, laptops, and smart speakers from being sold in the US. It’s also seeking unspecified financial damages.
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Sonos on Tuesday sued Google in federal court, alleging that the tech giant infringed on five of its patents. The New York Times’ Jack Nicas and Daisuke Wakabayashi were the first to report the news.
Sonos, which makes wireless home speakers, said Google stole patented technology, including the tech that lets smart speakers pair and sync. Sonos wants to ban Google’s smartphones, laptops, and smart speakers from being sold in the US, and it is seeking unspecified financial damages.
“Google is an important partner with whom we have collaborated successfully for years, including bringing the Google Assistant to the Sonos platform last year. However, Google has been blatantly and knowingly copying our patented technology in creating its audio products,” Sonos CEO Patrick Spence told Business Insider in a statement.
“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,” he said. “We’re left with no choice but to litigate in the interest of protecting our inventions, our customers, and the spirit of innovation that’s defined Sonos from the beginning.”
A Google representative told Business Insider in a statement that it disputed Sonos’ claims and “will defend them vigorously.”
“Over the years, we have had numerous ongoing conversations with Sonos about both companies’ IP rights and we are disappointed that Sonos brought these lawsuits instead of continuing negotiations in good faith,” the representative said.
Sonos makes home speakers that work with both Google’s artificial-intelligence-powered Assistant and Amazon’s Alexa. While Sonos’ speakers predate Google’s line of Nest devices, Google’s speakers are mostly cheaper, and Google sells significantly more of them each year.
Sonos told The Times that as it pressured Google to officially license its technology, Google asked Sonos to adhere to a rigorous set of regulations, like alerting Google to names and designs of future products six months in advance.
Sonos is suing in the US District Court in Los Angeles and through the United States International Trade Commission, according to The Times – notable, because the latter has the power to block imported goods that violate patents.