Recap: Google and Sonos cooperated on good speaker tech virtually a decade in the past, however their relationship turned bitter since Google grew to become a significant competitor within the area. The firm’s newest costs comply with a courtroom loss to Sonos earlier this yr.
Google opened two lawsuits towards wi-fi speaker firm Sonos this week, alleging infringement on a few of its speaker and voice management expertise. The two corporations have gone forwards and backwards over speaker patents for years.
The search engine big has accused Sonos of infringing on applied sciences together with “hotword” detection, wi-fi charging, and the way teams of audio system decide which one responds to voice enter.
Google is submitting each lawsuits on Monday within the United States District Court for the Northern District of California. Through related fits with the US International Trade Commission, it additionally plans to ban imports of infringing Sonos merchandise.
Sonos instructed The Verge that Google is attempting to intimidate it and retaliate after a January court docket determination in Sonos’ favor. Sonos additionally accused Google of monopolistic conduct, avoiding royalty funds, and attempting to snuff out smaller opponents.
Google stated Sonos is spreading misinformation about its merchandise.
This saga began in 2013 when the 2 corporations collaborated to make Google Music work with Sonos audio system. When Google later launched Google Home, Pixel telephones, and the Chromecast, Sonos accused it of utilizing data gained from their partnership for its merchandise. It opened a lawsuit in January 2020, with each side countersuing one another quickly after.
In January of this yr, a US commerce court docket dominated that Google infringed on a few of Sonos’s patents, banning the import of some Google merchandise. Due to the ruling, Google needed to challenge software program patches to its audio system, which degraded their performance. For occasion, customers may not concurrently change the quantity on a number of audio system, and Google prospects reacted angrily.
Google is not the one large participant Sonos has attacked. In 2020 its CEO accused Amazon of “predatory pricing” for promoting its Echo audio system properly beneath price. Companies like Amazon and Google have ample income streams that simply subsidize such merchandise, whereas Sonos has no such luxurious. Amazon at the moment dominates the US good speaker market with a 70-percent market share, whereas Google has about 25 p.c.