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Google Fined $32.5 Million for Infringing a Sonos Patent regarding Smart Speaker Technology

1 cover Google - Sonos(Click on image to Enlarge)

According to Law360, Google has just been hit with a $32.5 million penalty for infringing on a patent held by Sonos. A California federal jury ordered the fine after determining that Google infringed on a patent Sonos holds relating to grouping speakers so they can play audio at the same time, something the company has been doing for years.

US District Judge William Alsup had already determined that early version of products like the Chromecast Audio and Google Home infringed on Sonos' patent; the question was whether more recent, revamped products were also infringing on the patent. The jury found in favor of Sonos, but decided a second patent — one that relates to controlling devices via a smartphone or other device — wasn't violated. They said that Sonos hadn't convincingly shown that the Google Home app infringed on that particular patent. This follows the dismissal of four other patent violations that Sonos originally sued over.

Google is considering its next steps.

Sonos provided Engadget with the following statement: "We are deeply grateful for the jury’s time and diligence in upholding the validity of our patents and recognizing the value of Sonos’s invention of zone scenes.  This verdict re-affirms that Google is a serial infringer of our patent portfolio, as the International Trade Commission has already ruled with respect to five other Sonos patents.

In all, we believe Google infringes more than 200 Sonos patents and today’s damages award, based on one important piece of our portfolio, demonstrates the exceptional value of our intellectual property. Our goal remains for Google to pay us a fair royalty for the Sonos inventions it has appropriated."

10.0F3 - Patently Extra News


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