Another tech saga is ongoing as Google countersues Sonos over voice tech

Recap: Google and Sonos cooperated on sensible speaker tech nearly a decade in the past, however their relationship turned bitter since Google grew to become a serious competitor within the house. The corporate’s newest costs observe 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 know-how. The 2 firms have gone backwards and forwards over speaker patents for years.

The search engine large 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 in the US District Courtroom for the Northern District of California. Via related fits with the US Worldwide Commerce Fee, it additionally plans to ban imports of infringing Sonos merchandise.

Sonos informed The Verge that Google is making an attempt to intimidate it and retaliate after a January court docket resolution in Sonos’ favor. Sonos additionally accused Google of monopolistic conduct, avoiding royalty funds, and making an attempt to snuff out smaller opponents.

Google mentioned Sonos is spreading misinformation about its merchandise.

This saga began in 2013 when the 2 firms collaborated to make Google Music work with Sonos audio system. When Google later launched Google Dwelling, Pixel telephones, and the Chromecast, Sonos accused it of utilizing info gained from their partnership for its merchandise. It opened a lawsuit in January 2020, with either side countersuing one another quickly after.

In January of this yr, a US commerce court docket ruled that Google infringed on a few of Sonos’s patents, banning the import of some Google merchandise. Because of the ruling, Google needed to concern software program patches to its audio system, which degraded their performance. For example, customers may not concurrently change the amount on a number of audio system, and Google clients reacted angrily.

Google is not the one huge participant Sonos has attacked. In 2020 its CEO accused Amazon of “predatory pricing” for promoting its Echo audio system properly under price. Firms like Amazon and Google have ample income streams that simply subsidize such merchandise, whereas Sonos has no such luxurious. Amazon presently dominates the US sensible speaker market with a 70-percent market share, whereas Google has about 25 %.


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