Google on Thursday accused Sonos of patent infringement, further escalating the fight over wireless home speakers. The two companies had worked together to integrate some of Google’s features into sonos speakers, but the two sides clashed in January. Sonos sued Google for infringing its patents. The audio maker is facing increasing competition as tech giants such as Google and Amazon expand into home smart devices and introduce lower-priced wireless speakers.
Sonos made a false statement in the lawsuit about the joint work and Google’s technology. “While Google rarely sues other companies for patent infringement, it must now defend its intellectual property,” Google said in an indictment filed Thursday in federal court in San Francisco. “
Sonos is a Santa Barbara-based pioneer in wireless speakers. The lawsuit accuses the company of using google technology in search, software, networking, audio processing and digital media management and streaming, and of refusing to pay royalties.
Sonos has yet to comment.
Sonos first filed a lawsuit in January, suing Google in federal court in Los Angeles and the U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC), alleging that the company used Sonos to patent inventions in multi-room audio technology.
Sonos says Google gained that knowledge in working with google Play Music to integrate into the Sonos platform, and then left out partners and sold its products. Sonos has asked Google four times to stop the infringement, but has been ignored. Google is also cracking down on Sonos on price, grabbing market share.
Google denies infringing any of Sonos’s patents and says the allegations are false. “While we want to resolve disputes, we will ensure that our mutual customers have the best experience when using the product.” A Google spokesman said.
Sonos’s financial resources cannot compete with Google. The company’s biggest win came from the U.S. International Trade Commission, an agency that specializes in punishing unfair trade practices in the U.S. market and is more efficient than federal courts.
Sonos wants to ban imports of large quantities of Google products made in China, including Home Max, Pixel 3XL, Chromecast and Nest Hub.