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Google to pay hefty sum over patent infringement

Google has been ordered to pay $32.5 million in damages to Sonos for infringing the company’s patent relating to smart speakers. A San Francisco federal jury decided on Friday that Google had infringed one of Sonos’ patents in its wireless audio devices. The jury ruled that Google infringed one of Sonos’ two patents raised at trial. Sonos had originally asked the court for $90 million in damages, which was reduced from $3 billion they had requested from Google prior to US District Judge William Alsup narrowing the case. This is one of a number of lawsuits across various jurisdictions in the dispute between Google and Sonos, with further claims set to be heard in Canada, France, Germany and the Netherlands. Google were first sued by Sonos in 2020 for patent infringement. The companies had previously collaborated to integrate Google’s music streaming service into Sonos devices, however Sonos alleged that Google copied its technology during that period and used it in their own products such as the Google Home and Chromecast Audio devices. Last year Sonos won a limited import ban on selected Google devices from the US International Trade Commission, which Google has since appealed. Google has also launched its own patent infringement claims against Sonos, which were described by Sonos as an “intimidation tactic” to “grind down a smaller competitor”. Following the trial, Google maintained that it has “always developed technology independently and competed on the merit of our ideas”. Conversely, a spokesperson for Sonos said that the verdict “re-affirms that Google is a serial infringer of our patent portfolio”. This case demonstrates the importance of sticking to your guns and enforcing your intellectual property rights, even when up against a behemoth such as Google. If you have any questions on the above, please do not hesitate to contact the team at McDaniels Law on 0191 281 4000 or legal@mcdanielslaw.com. in: Digital/Tech, EU/International, Legal News, News, Patents

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