Google must pay Sonos $32.5 million for violating the company’s smart speaker patent. A jury ruled Friday in a San Francisco courtroom that Google’s smart speakers and media players infringed one of the two Sonos patents involved.
“This is a petty discussion about some very specific features that aren’t commonly used,” Google spokesperson Peter Schottenfels said in a statement to Google. The edge. “Of the six patents originally claimed by Sonos, only one was found to be infringed, and the rest were rejected as invalid or not infringed. We have always developed technology independently and competed based on our ideas. We are considering our next steps.”
Sonos didn’t come out completely victorious, however, as the jury decided that Google’s Home app did not infringe a separate patent filed by Sonos. The judge also told jurors to “disregard a $90 million damage estimate from a Sonos witness expert because he had determined that some of the evidence provided was inadmissible.” Law360 reports.
The decision will go down as an embarrassing defeat for Google, but both companies were subject to harsh criticism from Judge William Alsup, who has presided over many tech company lawsuits. Alsup expressed his frustration that this case ever got to court in the first place and that the two sides were unable to reach a settlement. He said it was “emblematic of the worst patent litigation.” He also took note of the technical jargon surrounding the patents in question, at one point checking on jurors to make sure they hadn’t fallen asleep, according to Law360.
Update May 26, 5:30 PM ET: Updated to add a statement from a Google spokesperson.