Patrick Spence, CEO of Sonos
Devan Burris | CNBC
Sonos sued Google Tuesday for patent infringement. Google used technology developed by Sonos that allows smart speakers to play music wirelessly in different rooms.
Companies like Google and Amazon have established themselves in the Sonos market by selling smart speakers that can also be easily connected by consumers to play the same track or different pieces of music in rooms around their homes.
"Google is a key partner we have worked with successfully for years, including providing the Google Assistant for the Sonos platform last year," Sonos told CNBC. "However, Google has openly and knowingly copied our patented technology in the development of its audio products. Despite our repeated and extensive efforts in recent years, Google has shown no willingness to work with us on a mutually beneficial solution. We remain no choice but to fight in the interests of protecting our inventions, our customers, and the spirit of innovation that defines Sonos from the start. "
The lawsuit, filed in Los Angeles on Tuesday, said Google had learned about Sonos technology when the two companies worked together in 2013 to provide Google's streaming music service to Sonos speakers.
"Already in 2013, through a partnership with Sonos, Google gained knowledge of Sono's patented multiroom technology in order to integrate Google Play Music into the Sonos platform," the lawsuit said. "However, just two years later in 2015, Google deliberately infringed Sonos 'patents when it launched its first wireless multi-room audio product – Chromecast Audio. Since 2015, Google has been misappropriating Sonos' patented technology only increased as Google expanded its wireless technology multiroom audio system for more than a dozen different products, "the lawsuit said.
The lawsuit states that Google not only copied Sonos Tech, but also "subsidized the prices of its infringing products." Sonos speakers typically cost hundreds of dollars. The cheaper smart speakers from Google only cost $ 35.
It looks very similar to the original Sonos Play: 1 (right)
Todd Haselton | CNBC
"We have had numerous discussions with Sonos over the intellectual property rights of both companies over the years. We are disappointed that Sonos has filed these lawsuits instead of continuing the negotiations in good faith," said a Google spokesman in an e- Mail to CNBC. "We contest these claims and will vigorously defend them."
Sonos made a name for itself by developing and selling speakers that made it easy for people to play music in different rooms of their home. Since then, Google and Amazon have introduced smart speakers that are able to do the same. While Sonos is not currently suing Amazon, this indicates that the company is infringing its patents in the lawsuit. The New York Times reported that Sonos didn't want to risk suing Google and Amazon at the same time.
Amazon was not immediately available for comment.
Sonos speakers also use Google and Amazon technologies in their speakers. Some of the more modern products allow users to choose between Google Assistant and Amazon Alexa.
– CNBC's Deirdre Bosa contributed to this report,