With two lawsuits, Google is retaliating against Sonos, claiming that the wireless speaker manufacturer is violating a number of its patents related to smart speakers and voice control technologies.
Seven more patents are allegedly infringed upon according to these latest cases. In one case, wireless charging and hotword recognition are the main topics, while in the other, it’s how a collection of speakers decides which one should respond to voice input.
The reason for the lawsuits according to Google spokesperson José Castaneda:
Protect our technology and fight Sonos’s apparent, continuous infringement of our patents. Sonos has launched an aggressive and deceptive campaign against our goods, at the detriment of our joint customers.”
Both cases were submitted this morning to the Northern District of California’s federal district court. According to Castaeda, Google intends to file comparable cases with the US International Trade Commission in the upcoming days with the goal of preventing the importation of any Sonos goods that violate its intellectual property.
The series of prior lawsuits between the two companies is quite long. The US International Trade Commission found in favor of Sonos in January, two years after the initial action was filed, concluding that Google had violated Sonos’ patents.
In consequence, Google had to change several of its products’ features. One particularly frustrating development for owners of many Google speakers was the removal by Google of the option to control the volume of a group of speakers at once. The lawsuits filed today appear to be an effort by Google to exert pressure on Sonos as the two companies argue about features.