Google Ordered to Pay $32.5 Million in Patent Infringement Case Against Sonos

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A federal jury in San Francisco has ruled that Alphabet Inc.’s Google must pay $32.5 million in damages for infringing on one of Sonos Inc.’s patents in its wireless audio devices. This decision comes as part of an extensive intellectual property dispute between the two former collaborators, which involves multiple lawsuits across several countries including the United States, Canada, France, Germany, and the Netherlands.

Sonos and Google had previously collaborated to integrate Google’s streaming music service into Sonos products. However, Sonos filed a lawsuit in Los Angeles and with the U.S. International Trade Commission in 2020, accusing Google of copying its technology during their partnership. Last year, Sonos secured a limited import ban on some Google devices from the International Trade Commission, a decision that Google has appealed. In response, Google initiated its own patent lawsuits against Sonos, alleging that Sonos had incorporated Google’s technology into its smart speakers.

The recent jury verdict found that Google had infringed on one of the two patents in question. Sonos had initially sought $90 million in damages, which it later reduced to $3 billion. Google argued that the case involved specific features that were not commonly used and indicated that it was considering its next steps. In response to the verdict, a Sonos spokesperson stated that it “re-affirms that Google is a serial infringer of our patent portfolio.” The ongoing legal battles between the companies have added further strain to Sonos, as it recently experienced a significant drop in market valuation after reducing its revenue forecast.

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