Sonos, a US-based audio startup, accused Google of stealing their technology. Sonos filed a lawsuit against Google, and a judge determined in an interim finding that Google did infringe on the technology of its partner company.
According to The Verge, a US International Trade Commission judge determined that Google had infringed on all five patents listed in the lawsuit by Sonos. While this isn’t a final ruling, it is a significant setback for Google. The verdict, Sonos claimed in a statement to The Verge, is “just the first step in a long battle.” This forms an “important milestone in the ongoing effort to defend Sonos’ tech against Google”.
Google expressed its dissatisfaction with the decision thereon: “We don’t use Sonos’ technology, and we compete solely on the merits of our products and ideas”. A Google spokeswoman told The Verge, “We disagree with this preliminary finding and will continue to make our case in the next review process.”
In 2013, Google and Sonos formed a cooperation to collaborate on smart speakers. In 2020, however, Sonos claimed that Google had stolen its inventions, including design patents. “Google is an essential partner with whom we have successfully partnered for years, including integrating the Google Assistant to the Sonos platform last year,” Sonos CEO Patrick Spence was cited as saying. “However, Google has been blatantly and knowingly copying our patented technology in creating its audio products.”