In flashpoint for the rebellion against big tech, Sonos sues Google for patent infringement

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Enlarge / The Sonos One SL. (credit: Jeff Dunn)

In a move that has become the top talking point of CES and a flashpoint for an industry's pent-up frustrations, smart audio company Sonos has sued Google for infringement of five of its patents, The New York Times reports.
The publicly traded, Santa Barbara, California-based audio company sued Google in a federal court and the US International Trade Commission. The goal is to block sales of some of Google's products (including smart speakers and smartphones, among other things) and to collect financial damages.
According to the article, Sonos "handed over the effective blueprints to its speakers" to Google in 2013 during an effort to make Google's services work on said speakers. Sonos didn't anticipate it then, but Google later launched smart speakers that competed directly with Sonos' offerings. After Google's speakers hit the market, Sonos employees purchased some and used packet sniffing to analyze how the Google speakers worked with each other. They say they discovered that the speakers used technological solutions that Sonos has previously developed and patented. (They claim to have found the same when testing Amazon's Echo speakers, too.)

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