Sonos are suing Google for allegedly stealing the tech from their smart speakers. Sonos claim Google copied a patent from their speaker range, while undercutting them in the market. Google gained access to Sonos's multi-room speaker partnership through a 2013 partnership between the two companies, that was designed to allow Sonos speakers to support Google Play Music. Google allegedly used the technology in its now-discontinued Chromecast Audio device, and later in its Google Home smart speakers and in its Pixel range.
Sonos allegedly warned Google of the infringement multiple times, in 2016 and in 2018 after the release of Google Home Max and Mini. Sonos are citing news articles that drew similarities between the devices in the lawsuit and claim that Google now infringes on as many as 100 patents.
“Google is an important partner with whom we have collaborated successfully for years, including bringing the Google Assistant to the Sonos platform last year. However, Google has been blatantly and knowingly copying our patented technology in creating its audio products,” Sonos CEO Patrick Spence told The Verge. “Despite our repeated and extensive efforts over the last few years, Google has not shown any willingness to work with us on a mutually beneficial solution.”
Last November, Sonos acquired its own privacy-focused AI voice assistant in the form of the company Snips.