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Google and Sonos are Now Fighting Over Voice Assistant Patents

Google and Sonos are Now Fighting Over Voice Assistant Patents
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According to CNET, It’s the latest salvo in a long-running smart speaker war between the businesses, who have sued and countersued each other following a time of cooperation.

A Google spokeswoman stated, “[Sonos] has initiated an aggressive and false campaign against our products, at the expense of our common customers.”

Sonos’ Voice Control assistant users were able to offer orders using the phrase “Hey Sonos” in June, much like Amazon’s Alexa or Google Assistant.

“Google collaborated with Sonos engineers to implement voice recognition and voice-activated device control in Sonos products for years,” according to the complaint. “Google even provided its Google Assistant software to Sonos for many years.”

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After working together for several years, Sonos filed a patent infringement lawsuit against Google in early 2020. When Google and Sonos collaborated, Google allegedly learned about Sonos’ technology and used it to create its line of smart speakers.

In September 2020, the company filed a new lawsuit claiming that Google had violated five more patents.

Refusing to pay for Google’s technology and making “false statements” about their joint work with Sonos were two of Google’s accusations in the countersuit.

Five Sonos patents were deemed infringed upon by Google by the United States International Trade Commission in 2021. To evade an import prohibition, Google had to modify the speaker configuration.

Most of these issues stem from the inability of users to modify the volume of multiple speakers at once; instead, they must do so separately.

“Google previously sued us all around the world, and Sonos has succeeded in every determined case,” Sonos’ senior legal officer Eddie Lazarus told CNET. According to the latest filings, Sonos is being sued as a form of retaliation for speaking out against Google’s monopolistic activities.

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