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Google countersues audio firm Sonos for patent infringement - San Francisco News

San Francisco, June 12 (IANS) Google has countersued audio company Sonos for patent infringement, alleging that the tech giant contributed "substantial Google engineering resources" to help Sonos in the past.

by IANS | Updated Jun 12, 2020 04:05 AM

Google countersues audio firm Sonos for patent infringement - San Francisco News
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San Francisco, June 12 (IANS) Google has countersued audio company Sonos for patent infringement, alleging that the tech giant contributed "substantial Google engineering resources" to help Sonos in the past.

According to the Verge, Google is suing Sonos over five patents related to mesh networking, echo cancellation, DRM, content notifications, and personalised search.

In January this year, Sonos sued tech giant Google for allegedly copying its wireless speaker design, urging the International Trade Commission (ITC) to ban Google products like laptops, phones and speakers.

Sonos CEO Patrick Spence testified before the US House antitrust committee that Google "blocked the company from enabling both Amazon's Alexa assistant and the Google Assistant from being active at the same time".

Google said in its countersuit that "while Google rarely sues other companies for patent infringement, it must assert its intellectual property rights here".

"We are disappointed that Sonos has made false claims about our work together and technology," Google spokesperson Jose Castaneda was quoted as saying.

According to Sonos, starting in 2016 shortly after the first Google Home was launched, it began warning Google about patent infringement but to no avail.

Sonos said it accused Google of infringing on a total of 100 patents.

Spence told The Verge on Thursday that they "look forward to winning our original case, and winning this newly filed retaliatory case as well".

Google has always maintained that its technology was developed independently and it was not copied from Sonos.

Sonos, the maker of high-end wireless speakers, claimed in its lawsuit that Google "subsidized its own products to sell them at a cheaper price while using them to extract more data from buyers".

"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 was quoted as saying.

Sonos also claimed that Amazon too violated its patents with the Echo device family, but has decided to make its case "one by one".

--IANS

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