Sonos lawsuit claims Google has been blatantly and knowingly copying Sonos’ patented technology

Jack Nicas and Daisuke Wakabayashi, The New York Times:

In 2013, Sonos scored a coup when Google agreed to design its music service to work easily with Sonos’s home speakers. For the project, Sonos handed over the effective blueprints to its speakers.

It felt like a harmless move, Sonos executives said. Google was an internet company and didn’t make speakers. The executives now say they were naïve.

On Tuesday, Sonos sued Google in two federal court systems, seeking financial damages and a ban on the sale of Google’s speakers, smartphones and laptops in the United States. Sonos accused Google of infringing on five of its patents, including technology that lets wireless speakers connect and synchronize with one another.

Like many companies under the thumb of Big Tech, Sonos groused privately for years. But over the past several months, Patrick Spence, Sonos’s chief executive, decided he couldn’t take it anymore. “Google has been blatantly and knowingly copying our patented technology,” Mr. Spence said in a statement. “Despite our repeated and extensive efforts over the last few years, Google has not shown any willingness to work with us on a mutually beneficial solution. We’re left with no choice but to litigate.”

Sonos executives said they decided to sue only Google because they couldn’t risk battling two tech giants in court at once… Sonos sued Google over only five patents, but said it believed Google and Amazon each violated roughly 100. Sonos did not say how much it sought in damages.

MacDailyNews Take: Google? Blatantly and knowingly copy patented tech from another company for their own profit? Preposterous!

Apple's revolutionary iPhone
Apple’s revolutionary iPhone


  1. Invest in Sonos because Sonos at some point may settle for being bought by Google (at significant profit to Sonos shareholders) to acquire all patents in dispute and then some. Amazon will not want that outcome, because it may then be sued (by Google) for violating Sonos patents. Bidding war for Sonos ensues… 😏

    1. Could be a problem if Microsoft speaker patents from the 90s are considered prior art, and if so, invalidating Sonos patent. Google cross license with MS so they probably believe they’re covered

  2. Ever since learning of Google’s street view mapping cars getting caught wifi-sniffing (to record the names and MAC addresses of consumer’s routers), about a decade ago, nothing that Google does surprises me and I expect nothing more than nefariousness to be revealed going forward.

    They did away with the company conduct code motto, “Don’t Be Evil,” I suspect, because they acknowledged the contradiction.

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