U.S. Federal Judge William Alsup has issued a patent infringement opinion, ruling that Google infringed Sonos’ patent rights. According to LawStreet, Sonos had previously accused Google of infringing its 10,848,885 and 9,967,615 patents, and Alsup’s order was directed only at the first patent, not only upholding its validity but also finding that Google’s “Cast-enabled application” infringed that patent.
It is understood that the ‘10,848,885 patent relates to user control of multi-room media systems. According to Sonos, prior to 2006, it was difficult for users to dynamically control groups of speakers, and the patent solves this problem by allowing users to customize and save multiple groups of smart speakers or other players, with each group activating the appropriate speaker based on a theme or scene.
Google argued that there was no infringement because the accused product allowed users to create groups of speakers that were not bound by topic names, but could instead use abstract names such as “A, B or C.” The court found that this only showed that Google’s product had features beyond those enumerated in the claim.
In addition, the court said that it would soon grant summary judgment on another patent-in-suit, 9,967,615.