Google must face trial over Sonos patents, California judge says

Google must face trial over Sonos patents, California judge says

Dispute over smart speakers technology.

By on

Alphabet's Google received a mixed ruling on Thursday from a San Francisco federal judge in a patent lawsuit brought by Sonos Inc over wireless audio technology, failing to invalidate all of the patents before a trial but narrowing Sonos' claims.

The case, set for trial on May 8, is part of a contentious intellectual property dispute between the former business partners over their smart speakers that includes lawsuits in the United States, Canada, France, Germany and the Netherlands.

Sonos won a limited import ban on some Google devices from the US International Trade Commission (ITC) last year, while Google has sued Sonos for patent infringement at the ITC and in California.

Google spokesperson José Castañeda said in a statement the company appreciated the decision to invalidate one of Sonos' patents and that Sonos "misrepresented our partnership and mischaracterised our technology."

A Sonos spokesperson said in a statement the company looks forward to "once again demonstrating Google's widespread infringement" at trial.

Sonos said Google stole its technology to use in products like Chromecast Audio and Google Home after working together to integrate Google's streaming music service into the Sonos ecosystem. Google has countered that Sonos copied its technology after their collaboration.

Sonos accused Google in the San Francisco case of infringing four patents related to multi-room wireless speaker technology. US District Judge William Alsup previously invalidated one of the patents and determined Google infringed another.

Alsup found Thursday that a second Sonos patent was also invalid, but rejected Google's request to cancel the remaining two patents before trial.

The judge also said Google did not infringe one of the surviving patents willfully, reducing Sonos' potential damages.

Alsup also said he would hold a separate bench trial after the jury trial to determine whether Google's redesigned speakers infringe Sonos' patents.

To reach the editorial team on your feedback, story ideas and pitches, contact them here.

Most Read Articles