In response to Sonos’ lawsuit alleging patent infringement, Google has been swiftly reintroducing some of the features and functionality it previously deleted from a number of devices. On the pretext of a bogus patent, Sonos has been pursuing a deceptive campaign against useful features in our Google Home and smart speaker products for years.
Building on earlier decisions that invalidated the asserted claims from another two Sonos patents, a federal judge decided decisively in favor of our goods on Friday, dismissing two of Sonos’ patents. The choice exposes the frailty of a key tenet of Sonos’ marketing strategy.
The court upheld Google’s claim that they invented the technology first and independently by ruling that Sonos’ patents are both invalid, meaning they should never have been obtained in the first place, and unenforceable.
In addition, Google has contested a limited import ban that Sonos obtained from the US International Trade Commission last year based on several Sonos patents. As retaliation, Google has filed its own patent litigation in California and before the ITC.
The Court stated, “This was not an instance of an invention driving the industry to something new. This was a case of the industry-leading with something new and, only then, an inventor coming out of the woodwork to say that he had come up with the idea first wringing fresh claims to read on a competitor’s products from an ancient application,” one inventor said.
In reality, accused infringer Google LLC discussed with Sonos a proposal for a device in 2014, five years before Sonos filed the applications and presented the claims, putting into effect what would later become the claimed innovation. Then, starting in 2015, Google released its products that utilized the innovation. Even yet, Sonos didn’t start pursuing patent claims until 2019 and didn’t introduce the technology into its product line until 2020.
It serves as a regrettable reminder of the aggressive actors’ growing abuse of the patent system, which wastes time and money. The Court stated, “It is unacceptable that our patent system was utilized in this manner.
This system’s constitutional foundations are designed to support and safeguard innovation. Here, however, it was employed as a means of delaying and enriching a pretender while punishing an innovator. This terrible information was discovered after a thorough trial, but justice has finally been served.