Published: January 12, 2022
The smart-speaker company Sonos recently won a legal dispute against Google over patents that it suggested the tech giant had infringed.
These are the patents for multi-room speakers and their synchronization pattern to play music at the same volume across all rooms or zones in the same place.
For Google, this means that any of their smart speakers or other smart home devices that use the Sonos technology can’t be imported to the US.
Sonos wants Google to “downgrade” its devices unless it pays them a licensing fee. However, Google said that wouldn’t happen as they’ve already found other solutions.
The US International Trade Commission found that Google had infringed five Sonos patents. And while the ruling may be in Sonos’ favor, Google disagrees and plans to continue defending itself against the “frivolous claims.”
Sonos’s patented multi-room audio feature can sync speakers to play audio at the same volume simultaneously across different areas of the home.
Google claims that it already tweaked designs during the legal battle avoiding the Sonos patents and that the commission had no problem with those speakers.
However, Google smart speaker users will now have to regulate the loudness of each speaker individually. Plus, they’ll no longer be able to use their phone’s audio controls to change the speaker group volume.
This current legal battle is not the first between Sonos and Google. And even though this is a settled ruling, there are more active lawsuits between the companies.