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Jury Finds that Google Infringed on Sonos Patent

Posted May 27, 2023 | Antitrust | Google | Sonos | Windows

A federal jury in California concluded that Google has again infringed on a Sonos patent after modifying its new products to not infringe. The smart speaker firm was awarded $32.5 million in damages, or $2.30 for each of the 14.1 million infringing devices sold.

The verdict was mixed: while Google was found to have infringed on one of two Sonos patents after modifying its products to not do so, the jury found that it no longer infringed on the second, which was related to the Google Home app.

“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,” Sonos CFO Eddie Lazarus said, referring to the feature protected by its patent. “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.”

“This is a narrow dispute about some very specific features that are not commonly used,” Google retorted. “We are considering our next steps.”

Those next steps should include licensing the patented Sonos technology, as this legal battle has dragged on for far too long. As the judge in this case, Judge William Alsup, noted, this case should never have come to trial in the first place.

“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,” Mr. Lazarus added. “Our goal remains for Google to pay us a fair royalty for the Sonos inventions it has appropriated.”

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