Sonos Officially Appeals After Federal Court Tosses $32.5 Million Jury Verdict

sonos google appeal
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sonos google appeal
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Sonos has filed an appeal notice in its marathon patent battle with Google after a judge in October tossed a $32.5 million jury verdict. Photo Credit: charlesdeluvio

Last month, a federal judge tossed the jury verdict that Sonos had won as part of a high-profile patent infringement battle with Google. Now, the self-described sound experience company is officially appealing the decision.

Sonos just recently submitted a notice of appeal in the years-running dispute, according to legal documents obtained by DMN. We’ve covered the multifaceted courtroom confrontation, centering on patents dating back to 2006, in detail since it kicked off nearly four years ago.

In brief, Sonos and the YouTube parent are said to have discussed a collaboration on the patent-described technology – involving customizable multi-room audio playback for smart speakers – in 2014.

While the talks failed to produce a deal, the Google Nest owner subsequently began incorporating the system at hand into its speakers in 2015, before Sonos did so with its own smart speakers starting in 2020, per court filings. That same year, Santa Barbara-based Sonos formally accused Google of patent infringement.

Several twists, turns, and years later, the case went to trial earlier in 2023, and a jury awarded Sonos a staggering $32.5 million. But as mentioned at the outset, a federal court vacated the verdict in mid-October.

When explaining the decision, Judge William Alsup found the relevant patents to be “invalid” and “unenforceable” for multiple reasons. Additionally, the judge in his firmly worded order described the suit as an abuse of the patent system designed “to punish an innovator and to enrich a pretender by delay and sleight of hand.”

“It has taken a full trial to learn this sad fact, but, at long last, a measure of justice is done,” Judge Alsup drove home when tossing the verdict against Google.

Needless to say, it’ll be worth following the result of Sonos’ appeal in the coming months. Similarly, a particularly litigious October delivered a number of industry lawsuits – among them infringement complaints against NLE Choppa, the Juice WRLD estate and Dr. Luke, and others – that will presumably unfold in 2024 and beyond.

About two weeks ago, for instance, Nas co-founded Mass Appeal was slapped with a racial discrimination suit levied by documentary producer Melissa Cooper. Also in mid-October, Gene Simmons and Paul Stanley submitted an infringement complaint concerning decades-old Kiss concert footage; the widow of a longtime Kiss guitar tech filed an unrelated wrongful death complaint against the band at roughly the same time.