×

Sonos Sues Competitor Bluesound for Patent Infringement

Smart speaker maker Sonos has sued Lenbrook Industries, the company behind the audio brand Bluesound, for patent infringement. It’s the second such lawsuit from Sonos against a competitor, which has also been using its patents to gain concessions from the makers of voice assistants.

In the lawsuit filed late last week in a California court, Sonos alleges that Bluesound products violate a total of 7 different patents, including some that cover the control of audio volume across multiple speakers, networked media playback and synchronization of multiple speakers.

“Instead of innovating to compete fairly with Sonos, (…) Defendants have merely copied Sonos,” the lawsuit alleges. Lenbrook Industries did not respond to a request for comment.

Lenbrook Industries was doing business as a Sonos distributor before launching its own line of wireless smart speakers, according to the filing. “Defendants have had intimate knowledge of Sonos’s wireless audio products and technology since at least 2007, more than six years before Defendants released their first Bluesound products,” Sonos claimed in its filing.

Ever since developing its first networked audio products back in 2002, Sonos has been amassing a treasure trove of patents covering a variety of aspects of wireless networking and digital audio. The company first put its hundreds of patents to the test in 2004, when it sued Denon over its HEOS wireless speakers.

Multiple courts sided with Sonos in that lawsuit, which was ultimately settled out of court last year. The terms of that settlement remain confidential, but Denon is widely believed to have agreed to pay licensing fees to Sonos.

Sonos has also been using its patents as a way to level the playing field in its negotiations with big competitors like Amazon, Apple and Google, which all offer multi-room audio for their own smart speakers. The company has not publicly commented on the details of the deals it has with the industry giants, but the patent threat likely helped to convince the competition to license their voice assistants to Sonos.

More Digital

  • Spotify logo is presented on a

    U.S. Consumers to Spend $26 Billion on Music, Video Subscriptions This Year

    U.S. consumers are expected to spend a combined $26 billion on music and video subscription services this year, according to new estimates from the Consumer Technology Association. That’s up from $20.4 billion in 2018, and nearly twice the amount spent on such services in 2017. Propelled by the continued success of Apple Music and Spotify, [...]

  • New AirTV Mini improves cord-cutting experience

    Dish’s AirTV Releases New Android TV Streaming Stick

    Dish’s AirTV subsidiary is releasing a new streaming device designed to combine over-the-air broadcast TV with the company’s Sling TV service and other streaming services. The new AirTV Mini streaming stick looks similar to a Fire TV stick, and is powered by Google’s Android TV software. The AirTV Mini stick is 4K-capable, allowing consumers to [...]

  • BMI Promotes David Levin to Senior

    BMI Promotes David Levin to Senior VP of Digital Licensing

    BMI today announced that David Levin has been promoted to Senior Vice President of Licensing, effective immediately. In his newly expanded role, Levin is responsible for all of BMI’s domestic licensing and revenue generation, encompassing radio, television, digital media, cable, satellite and general licensing.  Levin, who will oversee teams in New York and Nashville, reports [...]

  • James Murdoch

    James Murdoch Invests $20 Million in The Void, a Location-Based VR Startup

    James Murdoch, former CEO of 21st Century Fox, has invested $20 million in The Void, a startup specializing in location-based virtual reality (VR) experiences, Variety has confirmed. The funding comes through Murdoch’s Lupa Systems, a holding company that Rupert Murdoch’s younger son established with $1 billion in proceeds from the sale of his stake in 21CF [...]

  • Norah O'Donnell's 'CBS Evening News' Isn't

    Norah O'Donnell's 'CBS Evening News' Isn't Just For TV Viewers

    Norah O’Donnell will make her “CBS Evening News” debut, of course, on TV. But that doesn’t mean CBS News isn’t mindful of the new ways in which news aficionados get their information in an era of smartphone alerts and viral tweets. When O’Donnell launches a new era at the venerable newscast this week, complete with [...]

  • Hernán

    Conquistador Series ‘Hernan’ Snagged by Azteca TV and History Channel Latin America

    In the wake of its streaming rights acquisition by Amazon Prime, epic series “Hernan” has sold to Mexican broadcaster Azteca and pan-regional pay TV network, The History Channel, which have jointly acquired the series for their respective platforms. Produced by Mexico’s Dopamine, a Salinas Group unit, and Spain’s Onza Entertainment, the eight-episode mega-series marks the [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content