A federal jury in the state of California has ruled in favor of Sonos in a recent patent infringement trial, stating Google must pay Sonos $32.5 million for using patented smart-speaker technologies without Sonos’ consent.
The final number was based on a royalty calculation amounting to $2.30 per unit for more than 14.1 million units sold that infringed upon Sonos’ patent. This is a reduction from the original $90 million in alleged damages Sonos had purported at the beginning of the trial as per the judge’s decision.
It is yet to be determined whether Sonos will be able to continue to seek royalties from other companies that currently rely on Google’s technology because of this most recent ruling.
Chapter Closes in Ongoing Patent Infringement Battle Between Google and Sonos
Originally coming together as partners to integrate Google Play Music into Sonos products in 2013, the current legal battle began in 2020 when Sonos sued Google alleging the company had unlawfully incorporated elements of Sonos’ products into Google’s own offerings because of the partnership.
The accusation has since led to a broader legal war between the two companies with lawsuits being filed across multiple countries and complaints being filed with the US International Trade Commission to block imports of specific products.
Google has also since sued Sonos for patent infringement of Google’s own smart speaker and voice control technology patents.
Following the outcome, a Sonos spokesperson stated that the 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.”
“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,” the statement said. “Our goal remains for Google to pay us a fair royalty for the Sonos inventions it has appropriated.”
In Google’s own response, a spokesperson stated, “This is a narrow dispute about some very specific features that are not commonly used,” the statement said. “Of the six patents Sonos originally asserted, only one was found to be infringed, and the rest were dismissed as invalid or not infringed. We have always developed technology independently and competed on the merit of our ideas.”
Pending conclusion, presiding Judge William Aslup called the case “emblematic of the worst patent litigation,” citing roughly 5,000 pages of arguments and evidence having been submitted regarding a pre-trial dispute involving an expert’s report.
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