Google sues Sonos over smart speaker and voice control technology

Google is back on Sonos with a pair of lawsuits alleging that the wireless speaker company is infringing on several of its patents around smart speaker and voice control technology. It’s the latest volley in the back-and-forth battle over the wireless speaker that has so far included multiple Sonos lawsuits, a lawsuit from Google, and a ruling in Sonos’ favor that led to features stripping Google’s products.

These new lawsuits allege infringement of seven additional patents. One lawsuit focuses on hotword detection and wireless charging, and the other revolves around how a group of speakers determine who should respond to voice input.

Google spokesman Jose Castaneda said the lawsuits are being filed “to defend our technology and to challenge Sonos’ apparent, continued infringement of our patents.” Castañeda said Sonos had “launched an aggressive and deceptive campaign against our products at the expense of our shared customers.”

Both lawsuits are being filed this morning in the United States District Court for the Northern District of California. Google plans to file a similar lawsuit with the US International Trade Commission in the coming days that would seek to ban imports of any infringing Sonos products, Castañeda reported. ledge,

The legal tussle began in 2020 when Sonos initially sued Google over multiroom speaker technology. The two companies had partnered years ago to make Google services work on Sonos speakers, and Sonos claimed that Google stole its speaker technology to build the Google Home and other devices. Google countered months later, claiming that Sonos also infringed on several of its patents. Then Sonos sued again. Finally, in January — two years after the first lawsuit was filed — the US International Trade Commission ruled in Sonos’ favor, saying Google infringed Sonos’ patents.

In response, Google had to adjust the features of some of its products. In this Google removed the ability to adjust the volume of a group of speakers at once – a very annoying change for many Google speaker owners. Today’s lawsuit appears to be an attempt by Google to take advantage of what two spar over Sonos features.

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