Google Must Pay Sonos $32.5M for Infringing Smart Speaker Patent – Billboard


Google has been ordered to pay Sonos $32.5 million for infringing certainly one of its sensible speaker patents, marking a big improvement in a long-fought authorized conflict between the 2 corporations that’s spanned greater than three years and a number of lawsuits.

Filed in a San Francisco courtroom on Friday (Might 26), the jury verdict awarded Sonos $2.30 for every of the greater than 14 million Google gadgets that have been offered incorporating the patented expertise.

The jury discovered that Google had not infringed a second patent at situation within the case.

Sonos first sued Google in January 2020, claiming the tech large had infringed a number of patents for its sensible speaker expertise after getting access to it via a 2013 partnership underneath which Sonos built-in Google Play Music into its merchandise. Simply two years after that partnership was reached, Sonos alleged that Google then “flooded the market” with cheaper competing merchandise (underneath the now-defunct Chromecast Audio line) that willfully infringed its patented multi-room expertise. Sonos moreover claimed that Google had since expanded its use of Sonos expertise in additional than a dozen different merchandise, together with the Google Dwelling, Nest and Pixel traces.

“We’re deeply grateful for the jury’s time and diligence in upholding the validity of our patents and recognizing the worth of Sonos’s invention of zone scenes,” stated Sonos in a press release on the decision. “This verdict re-affirms that Google is a serial infringer of our patent portfolio, because the Worldwide Commerce Fee has already dominated with respect to 5 different Sonos patents. In all, we consider Google infringes greater than 200 Sonos patents and in the present day’s damages award, primarily based on one necessary piece of our portfolio, demonstrates the distinctive worth of our mental property. Our purpose stays for Google to pay us a good royalty for the Sonos innovations it has appropriated.”

In its personal assertion, a Google spokesperson stated, “It is a slim dispute about some very particular options that aren’t generally used. Of the six patents Sonos initially asserted, just one was discovered to be infringed, and the remainder have been dismissed as invalid or not infringed. Now we have all the time developed expertise independently and competed on the advantage of our concepts. We’re contemplating our subsequent steps.”

The authorized battle between the 2 tech corporations has been protracted, with each side happening the offensive at totally different factors. In June 2020, Google filed go well with in opposition to Sonos, alleging the sensible speaker maker had truly infringed a number of of its personal patents. Sonos subsequently filed two extra lawsuits alleging that Google had infringed a number of further patents it held.

Sonos filed a kind of two circumstances with the U.S. Worldwide Commerce Fee, which ruled in January 2022 that Google had infringed a complete of 5 of Sonos’ audio expertise patents and barred it from importing the infringing merchandise from China. Nonetheless, the fee additionally discovered that Google had efficiently redesigned its merchandise to keep away from the Sonos patents and will proceed promoting these reworked variations in U.S. shops — an allowance Sonos had fought to forestall.

In August 2022, Google fired one other volley with two additional lawsuits, claiming the smaller firm used seven totally different patented Google applied sciences to instill the so-called “magic” in Sonos software program.

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