Sonos sues Google and seeks massive hardware ban

Sonos Move
(Image credit: Tom's Guide)

Be careful of how much you share with new friends. That's the alleged lesson at the root of a lawsuit that speaker giant Sonos is bringing to Google, claiming that the search titan is infringing on 5 patents for its speakers (though it believes roughly 100 were violated). 

Oh, and they're also demanding a ban on all U.S. sales of Google smart speakers, phones and laptops. This news comes to us from a New York Times report, detailing the suit filed in two federal court systems: the Federal District Court in Los Angeles and the United States International Trade Commission (which can stop products from entering the country if they violate patents).

Sonos revealed its proverbial secret sauce to Google when handing over blueprints for a collaboration that would bring Google's music service to Sonos speakers. One of the infringed-upon patents enables synchronization between wireless speakers.

Back then, Google wasn't making hardware at the scale it does today, so the company didn't think it was making a risk. 

In a statement, Sonos CEO Patrick Spence said "Google has been blatantly and knowingly copying our patented technology ... 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."

Google isn't the only company that Sonos has a gripe with. The article also notes that Sonos believes Amazon also stole its speaker technology, which it then used to sell cheaper speakers than Sonos. The companies have been interlinked for years, but Sonos is only challenging Google at the moment because it wants to tackle one of its former friends at a time. 

The Times also included a statement from Google spokesperson Jose Castaneda, who says the two companies have been talking about their IP for years now. Castaneda took a tone of shaming, saying "we are disappointed that Sonos brought these lawsuits instead of continuing negotiations in good faith. We dispute these claims and will defend them vigorously."

Henry T. Casey
Managing Editor (Entertainment, Streaming)

Henry is a managing editor at Tom’s Guide covering streaming media, laptops and all things Apple, reviewing devices and services for the past seven years. Prior to joining Tom's Guide, he reviewed software and hardware for TechRadar Pro, and interviewed artists for Patek Philippe International Magazine. He's also covered the wild world of professional wrestling for Cageside Seats, interviewing athletes and other industry veterans.