Alphabet Inc’s Google won a mixed ruling from a San Francisco federal judge on Thursday in a patent lawsuit filed by Sonos over wireless audio technology. The court did not invalidate all the patents before the trial, but narrowed the scope of Sonos’ claims. The case, set to go to trial on May 8, is part of a contentious intellectual property dispute over smart speakers between the former business partners, which includes litigation in the United States, Canada, France, Germany and the Netherlands.
Sonos won a limited import ban on some Google devices from the U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC) last year, while Google sued Sonos at the ITC and in California for patent infringement.
In a statement, Google spokesman José Castañeda said the company applauded Sonos’ decision to invalidate a patent that Sonos “misrepresented our partnership and misrepresented our technology.”
A Sonos spokesman said in a statement that the company looked forward to “again proving Google’s widespread infringement” at trial.
After partnering to integrate Google’s streaming music service into the Sonos ecosystem, Google stole its technology for use in products like Chromecast Audio and Google Home, Sonos said. Google countered that Sonos copied its technology after their partnership.
Sonos accused Google in the San Francisco case of infringing four patents related to multi-room wireless speaker technology. U.S. District Judge William Alsup previously declared one of the patents invalid and found Google infringed on the other.
Alsup found on Thursday that the second Sonos patent was also invalid, but rejected Google’s request to cancel the remaining two patents before trial. The judge also said Google did not knowingly infringe one of the surviving patents, reducing Sonos’ potential damages.
Alsup also said he would hold a separate court inquiry after the jury trial to determine whether Google’s redesigned speaker infringes Sonos’ patents.