Home speaker manufacturer Sonos filed a lawsuit against Google in relation to its patented smart-speaker technology which the Big Tech giant allegedly stole.
Jan. 8, 2020
Big Tech giant Google (NASDAQ: GOOGL) (NASDAQ: GOOG) is being sued by U.S.-based consumer electronics manufacturer Sonos (NASDAQ: SONO) over alleged patent infringement.
Why is Sonos suing Google?
According to the lawsuit, Google has been infringing on Sonos’ patents for the past 5 years through a 2013 partnership and has included patented software in more than a dozen products, including Google Home devices and Pixel phone range.
Sonos has reported that the move has come at a devastating cost to the company, as Google flooded the market with cheaper options. Google’s cheapest smart speaker has a base price of $49 compared to Sonos’ $179. As well as this, Sonos has accused Google of using its technology to further get a leg up on the market by collecting data to bolster its ad and search services via these devices.
Sonos is suing Google for a so-far undisclosed fee but will be seeking financial recompense as well as a ban on the sale of all Google smartphones, speakers, and laptops in the U.S. Will new CEO Sundar Pichai be up to the task with his first major lawsuit since taking over at Alphabet?
Sonos is also targeting Amazon
Sonos has reported that it also believes that e-commerce giant Amazon (NASDAQ: AMZN) has also infringed on its patented technology. However, due to its limited resources, Sonos is only suing Google as it couldn’t “risk battling two tech giants in court at once,”.
Amazon’s ‘Alexa’ smart speaker segment may not be its most important, but it is a vital cog in the company’s money-making machine.
The smart speaker market
The smart speaker market has grown exponentially in recent years, with all the biggest names in tech getting in on it, including Apple (NASDAQ: AAPL) and Facebook (NASDAQ: FB).
With the market for smart-home devices set to grow by 23.5% this year to 815 million devices, and predicted to reach as much as 1.39 billion devices by 2023, there is a lot of money to be made from smart speakers and home devices. It is such an important market, that Big Tech is teaming up to create a smart-home standard. Sonos will have a big task on its hands to try to disrupt such massive players in the game.
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