Google Ordered to Pay Sonos $32.5M for Infringing Smart Speaker Patent

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The assemblage verdict marks a awesome improvement successful a years-long ineligible conflict betwixt nan 2 tech companies.


Sonos Phil Barker/Future Publishing via GI

Google has been ordered to salary Sonos $32.5 cardinal for infringing 1 of its smart speaker patents, marking a important improvement successful a long-fought ineligible warfare betwixt nan 2 companies that’s spanned much than 3 years and aggregate lawsuits.

Filed successful a San Francisco tribunal connected Friday (May 26), nan assemblage verdict awarded Sonos $2.30 for each of nan much than 14 cardinal Google devices that were sold incorporating nan patented technology.

The assemblage recovered that Google had not infringed a 2nd patent astatine rumor successful nan case.

Sonos first sued Google successful January 2020, claiming nan tech elephantine had infringed aggregate patents for its smart speaker exertion aft gaining entree to it done a 2013 business nether which Sonos integrated Google Play Music into its products. Just 2 years aft that business was reached, Sonos alleged that Google past “flooded nan market” pinch cheaper competing products (under nan now-defunct Chromecast Audio line) that willfully infringed its patented multi-room technology. Sonos additionally claimed Google had besides since expanded its usage of Sonos exertion successful much than a twelve different products, including nan Google Home, Nest and Pixel lines.

“We are profoundly grateful for nan jury’s clip and diligence successful upholding nan validity of our patents and recognizing nan worth of Sonos’s invention of area scenes,” said Sonos successful a connection connected nan verdict. “This verdict re-affirms that Google is simply a serial infringer of our patent portfolio, arsenic nan International Trade Commission has already ruled pinch respect to 5 different Sonos patents. In all, we judge Google infringes much than 200 Sonos patents and today’s damages award, based connected 1 important portion of our portfolio, demonstrates nan exceptional worth of our intelligence property. Our extremity remains for Google to salary america a adjacent royalty for nan Sonos inventions it has appropriated.”

In its ain statement, a Google spokesperson said, “This is simply a constrictive conflict astir immoderate very circumstantial features that are not commonly used. Of nan six patents Sonos primitively asserted, only 1 was recovered to beryllium infringed, and nan remainder were dismissed arsenic invalid aliases not infringed. We person ever developed exertion independently and competed connected nan merit of our ideas. We are considering our adjacent steps.”

The ineligible conflict betwixt nan 2 tech companies has been protracted, pinch some sides going connected nan violative astatine different points. In June 2020, Google revenge suit against Sonos, alleging nan smart speaker shaper had really infringed respective of its ain patents. Sonos subsequently revenge 2 much lawsuits alleging that Google had infringed respective further patents it held.

Sonos revenge 1 of those 2 cases pinch nan U.S. International Trade Commission, which ruled successful January 2022 that Google had infringed a full of 5 of Sonos’ audio exertion patents and barred it from importing nan infringing products from China. However, nan committee besides recovered that Google had successfully redesigned its products to debar nan Sonos patents and could proceed trading those reworked versions successful U.S. stores — an allowance Sonos had fought to prevent.

In August 2022, Google fired different volley pinch two further lawsuits, claiming nan smaller institution utilized 7 different patented Google technologies to instill nan alleged “magic” successful Sonos software.

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Source International