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A federal judge has ruled in Google's favor in the Sonos patent lawsuit, and Google isn't wasting any time after winning. to proactively implement features extracted from speakers.
Sonos originally sued Google in 2020, accusing the company of infringing more than 200 of the company's patents. The charge involved Google stealing Sonos technology for multi-room listening.
The case was reduced to five patents, and Google lost the jury trial. The case went to federal court, where Google won against Sonos.
Google General Counsel Halima Delaine Prado's blog post gleefully trashed the Sonos campaign, reveling in Google's victory. Two Sonos patents have been rejected in a federal hearing, rendering Sonos' patent case useless.
Prado shared statements made directly from the court, which did not strike Sonos.
“This is not a case of an inventor leading an industry to something new,” Judge William Alsup wrote in a statement. “This was a case where the industry was leading the way with something new, and only then did an inventor come out of the woodwork and say he came up with the idea first – squeezing out new claims to read about a competitor's products from an ancient app. “
The court is essentially implying that Sonos is no better than a patent troll. It goes on to say how wrong the timing of Sonos' charges is.
” In fact, in 2014, within five years before Sonos filed and asserted its claims, the infringing company defendant Google LLC shared with Sonos a plan to create a product that would implement what would become the claimed invention,” the judge said. Alsup continued. “Then in 2015, Google began introducing its own products that used the invention. Despite this, Sonos waited until 2019 to make claims on the invention (and until 2020 to incorporate the invention into its own product line).”
Prado's blog post concludes with the observation that patent trolls are wasting time and money, and argues that the patent system needs reform, which will require more money and greater scrutiny of incoming patents.
Owners of Google products like Google Home or Chromecast should see an update that re-enables the multi-room audio feature. The update will be available for products within the next 48 hours. An update to the Google Home app for iOS is expected soon.