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Google Sues Sonos over Smart Speaker and Voice Control Tech

With two lawsuits, Google is retaliating against Sonos by claiming that the wireless speaker manufacturer is infringing on a number of its patents related to smart speakers and voice control technologies. It’s the latest salvo in a legal struggle over wireless speakers that has so far featured several lawsuits, one Google lawsuit, and a judgement in favour of Sonos that resulted in the removal of functionality from Google’s devices.

Seven more patents are allegedly infringed upon according to these latest cases. In one case, wireless charging and hotword recognition are the main topics, while in the other, it’s how a collection of speakers decides which one should respond to voice input. The lawsuits are being brought, according to Google spokesperson José Castaeda, to “protect our technology and fight Sonos apparent, continuous infringement of our patents.” Sonos has “launched an aggressive and deceptive campaign against our goods, at the detriment of our joint customers,” according to Castaeda.

Both cases were submitted to the Northern District of California’s federal district court this morning. According to Castaeda, Google intends to file comparable cases with the US International Trade Commission in the upcoming days to prevent the importation of any goods that violate its intellectual property. When Sonos originally sued Google in 2020 over multiroom speaker technology, the court battle got underway.

Years before, the two businesses collaborated to enable Google services on speakers. Sonos later accused Google of stealing its speaker technology in order to create the Google Home and other products. A few months later, Google countersued, alleging that had also violated many of its patents. Then filed another lawsuit. Finally, the US International Trade Commission found Google in breach of patents in January, two years after the initial case was filed.

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