The patent dispute between Sonos and Google goes into the next round. A Hamburg court has issued a sales ban on all Google products that use Google Cast technology. Google is appealing the decision.
The back story: dispute over Cast technology
In 2013, Sonos and Google cooperated on the further development of Sonos’ Home Speaker speakers, which from then on featured Google’s music service. As a result of this cooperation, Sonos accused Google of unlawfully using information about the speakers obtained in the course of the cooperation to develop its own products. Specifically, the case involves five patents relating to the technology for networking and synchronizing speakers. Sonos CEO Patrick Spence said in early 2020 on the occasion of the first lawsuit filed that Google had “knowingly copied our patented technology.” The lawsuit was preceded by years of attempts to reach an out-of-court settlement.
The verdict from Hamburg: sales ban for some Google products
In a Hamburg court, Sonos has now obtained a sales ban for those Google products that use Chromecast technology, which is used to network and synchronize output devices. These products include the Nest Audio speaker, the Pixel 4a smartphone and the YouTube Music app. The ruling, however, only applies to the German market. According to Google’s own information, it has already filed an appeal and accused Sonos of making false statements: chief legal counsel Eddie Lazarus stated on the record that Google was “disappointed that Sonos made false statements about our partnership and technology.” So further developments remain to be seen. On May 15, one day after the preliminary injunction was issued, the devices and applications in question were still available on the German market.