We’ll say it now: patent disputes between tech companies can indeed get messy. Following a decision in Sonos’ favor a few months back, it looks like Google has now gained a legal victory after a federal judge dismissed a $32.5-million verdict previously granted to Sonos. The decision was ruled on the basis that the Sonos patents involved in the case were unenforceable.
According to US District Judge William Alsup, Sonos improperly tried to claim its patents for multi-room audio hardware. As per his statement:
“This was not a case of an inventor leading the industry to something new. 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.”
Unsurprisingly, the new decision does not sit well with Sonos. A company spokesperson on Monday described the ruling as “wrong on both the facts and law.” Sonos is expected to appeal the latest decision.
This new development is the latest in a long saga involving both companies. Formerly partners, Sonos claimed that Google unlawfully copied several of its patents, resulting in a court decision in favor of Sonos and forcing Google to modify the software in some of its products. This was then followed by subsequent back-and-forth countersuits from both parties.