Google has just been fined $32.5 million for infringing a patent owned by Sonos.according to Law 360a California federal jury found Google infringed a patent owned by Sonos related to grouping speakers so that they could play audio at the same time, something the company has been working on for years. ordered.
U.S. District Court Judge William Alsup had already ruled that early versions of products like Chromecast Audio and Google Home infringed Sonos’ patents. The question was whether the recently improved product was also infringing the patent. The jury ruled in Sonos’ favor, but found that the second patent (on controlling devices via smartphones or other devices) was not infringed. They said Sonos has not convincingly shown that the Google Home app infringes that particular patent. This follows the dismissal of four other patent infringement cases that Sonos originally sued.
Google provided the following statement to Engadget: “This is a narrow dispute involving some very specific features that are not commonly used. Of the six patents originally claimed by Sonos, the infringement was Only one case was admitted, and the rest were rejected as invalid or not.” We are considering next steps.”
Today’s findings feel like a win for Sonos, which originally filed a lawsuit against Google in January 2020. Sonos, in particular, claimed that Google gained knowledge of the patent through previous collaborations between the two companies, but then worked together to make the integration possible. Between Sonos speakers and Google Play Music.
Google has since counter-sued Sonos, alleging that Sonos actually infringed its own patent on smart speakers. Like any good legal battle, Sonos expanded its own lawsuit months later. Most recently, Google sued Sonos in 2022, alleging that Sonos’ new voice assistant infringed seven patents related to the Google Assistant.
It remains to be seen whether today’s decision will delay the legal battle between the two companies, but we expect the squabbling to continue at full throttle in the coming months. There are still many unresolved lawsuits between the two companies, and Google is expected to appeal the decision as well. We’ve reached out to both Sonos and Google and will update this story with information we hear.
Update May 26, 2023 at 5:30 PM ET: Added statement from Google.