Sonos is accusing Google and Amazon of stealing its technology — and it's taking Google to court

Brendan Morrow

Sonos, the electronics company that sells home speakers, is suing Google for allegedly stealing its technology.

Sonos on Tuesday filed a lawsuit against Google, accusing the company of infringing on five patents in developing its own speakers, The New York Times reports.

"Google has been blatantly and knowingly copying our patented technology," Sonos CEO Patrick Spence said. “Despite our repeated and extensive efforts over the last few years, Google has not shown any willingness to work with us on a mutually beneficial solution. We're left with no choice but to litigate." A Google spokesperson told the Times that "we dispute these claims and will defend them vigorously."

Sonos is accusing Amazon of stealing its speaker technology as well, although the Times reports it didn't file a lawsuit because it didn't want to risk taking on two major tech companies in court simultaneously. Although the lawsuit concerns five, Sonos reportedly believes Google and Amazon violated 100 of its patents.

One piece of technology Sonos accuses Google of stealing allows wireless speakers to sync with each other. Sonos says that in 2013, it shared with Google how its speakers interact after Google agreed to integrate Google Play Music with Sonos' products. Google later came out with its own speakers, and the Times reports Sonos executives "discovered that Google's devices used Sonos' approach for solving a variety of technological challenges," also discovering the same of Amazon's Echo devices. An Amazon spokesperson denied the accusation.

Sonos also complains that Google and Amazon are undercutting its prices and, as the Times writes, "are flooding the market with cheap speakers that they subsidize because they are not merely conduits for music, like Sonos' devices, but rather another way to sell goods, show ads and collect data." In the lawsuit, Sonos is seeking financial damages and a ban on sales of Google's speakers, smartphones, and laptops. Read the full report at The New York Times.

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