Sonos wins a legal battle. Google is no longer allowed to import products using Sonos technology. Applies to Google Pixel phones, home speakers, and more.
The US International Trade Commission has ruled in a lawsuit that Google infringed on five audio technology patents owned by Sonos, according to reports. New York times. The ruling ends a two-year investigation against Google. As a result of this decision, Google will no longer be allowed to import products using Sonos’ proprietary technology.
Patent infringement related to multiple products, including Google Pixel phonesand Google Chromecast and Nest Google Home Smart speakers. All of these products are manufactured in China and shipped to America. So an import ban would be disastrous. However, Google doesn’t expect it to get that far.
The import ban will only take effect within 60 days. Until then, the US tech giant has the ability to make adjustments so that the products don’t conflict with Sonos’ patented audio technology. Google is taking this extra time with both hands, and the company clearly has no intention of handing the money over to Sonos.
Google speaker sync function disappears
The immediate consequence is that users have to hand over functionality, and the first updates are already being rolled out. The judgment has consequences for users of Google Home smart speakers, among other things.
For example, you can no longer ask your smart speaker to adjust the volume, you will have to do it manually from now on. You also have to do this for each speaker from now on, which isn’t very handy if you have multiple speakers at home.
Google Nest is now informing its users via the community site. Users can no longer use the speaker set function. Some even need to install a separate app to setup and update devices. the Online statement It reads as follows (translated into Dutch):
Google Nest team statement: Due to a recent legal decision, we’re making some changes to the way you set up your devices and how the Speaker Group function will work in the future. If you use the Speaker Group feature to control the volume in the Google Home app, with your voice using the Google Assistant, or directly on the Nest Hub screen, you’ll notice some changes:
To adjust the volume of the speaker groups, you need to adjust each speaker individually rather than using the group volume control. You can no longer change the volume of the speaker assembly using your phone’s physical volume knob.
Most speaker kits should still work as expected, unless you have a speaker kit with other brands of Cast-based hardware, such as JBL or Lenovo, which should be on 1.52.272222 or higher Cast firmware.Few users need to use Device Utility Application (DUA) to complete product installation and updates.
You may receive a prompt to download and run DUA, and it will ensure that your device is connected to WiFi and receives the latest software version. We will continue to support our users and work to minimize any additional changes.
It is a very cool choice by Google, which does not quite fit its users. Finally, the company could also have decided to pay the necessary licensing fee to Sonos. Instead, users are now being deceived, and they have to hand over jobs without being asked.
The turbulent relationship between Google and Sonos
Google and Sonos have been at odds for some time. Last year, Sonos criticized Google and Amazon because users always have to choose whether they want to use Google’s or Amazon’s smart digital assistant. Both cannot be used on one audio device. Sonos’ audio equipment offers this option, and Sonos has designed Concurrency Mode for this. Amazon eventually gave up, but Google continued to actively counter.
However, it certainly wasn’t always annoying. There was a time when Google and Sonos were planning to work together. As the conversations progress steadily, Sonos also disclosed sensitive information about the company to Google employees. In the end the cooperation collapsed, and then misery began. Because the information collected was then used, or “copied” as Sonos suggested to the US panel. They have now been proven right.
And, of course, Sonos is pleased that they have legally succeeded in all five of the alleged infringement cases. A Google spokesperson told the New York Times that the company disagrees with the US Trade Commission’s decision. Despite this, Google does not expect the ruling to affect the import and sale of its products.