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Topic: Sonos Lose Multiroom Patents (Read 6542 times) previous topic - next topic
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Sonos Lose Multiroom Patents

A California judge has thrown out a $32.5 million verdict win for Sonos against Google after two of Sonos' patents were deemed unenforceable and invalid. As a result, Google has started to re-introduce software features it had removed due to Sonos' lawsuit. In a decision dated October 6, U.S. District Judge William Alsup said that Sonos had wrongfully linked its patent applications for multi-room audio technology to a 2006 application in order to make them appear older and claim that its inventions came before Google's products, as first reported by Reuters.

"Sonos filed the provisional application from which the patents in suit claim priority in 2006, but it did not file the applications for these patents and present the asserted claims for examination until 2019," the decision (PDF) reads. "By the time these patents issued in 2019 and 2020, the industry had already marched on and put the claimed invention into practice. In fact, in 2014, five years before Sonos filed the applications and presented the claims, accused infringer Google LLC shared with Sonos a plan for a product that would practice what would become the claimed invention."

The decision states that the two companies were exploring a potential collaboration, but that it never materialized. Alsup goes on to note that Google began introducing its own products that featured multi-room audio technology in 2015, and also that Sonos waited until 2019 to pursue claims on the invention. "This was not a case of an inventor leading the industry to something new," Alsup wrote. "This was a case of the industry leading with something new and, only then, an inventor coming out of the woodwork to say that he had come up with the idea first — wringing fresh claims to read on a competitor's products from an ancient application."

Re: Sonos Lose Multiroom Patents

Reply #1
One would wonder if Google have a case of fraud against sonos over this?

Re: Sonos Lose Multiroom Patents

Reply #2
The whole US system of 'provisional applications' is pretty weird. Reading it like this, it is strange a judge would even have to explain why linking a 2019 patent to a 2006 provisional application would be considered unreasonable.

For example, the "Paris Convention priority right" is limited to 12 months, which means you can file a patent application in the US within 12 months after you've filed one in the EU or the other way around. Even that is quite a while, those 12 months come from a time (1883) where one would need to cross the Atlantic ocean by ship to get word across. (I think submitting a patent through transatlantic telegraph would be prohibitively expensive?) Yet, somehow, with this system of internal priority, one can get away with many years?
Music: sounds arranged such that they construct feelings.