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Sonos Steps Up Patent Lawfare, Suing Bluesound

An under siege Sonos is suing its former overseas distributor and owner of rival wireless audio brand Bluesound, alleging it infringed on patents the company has used to sue rivals in the past and reportedly convince tech giants to make their voice assistants available on its speakers.

Sonos began court proceedings in California last week, accusing Bluesound and Lenbrook Industries of violating seven different patents relating to things like volume control, networked media playback and speaker synchronisation, according to a report from CE Pro.

Lenbrook Industries distributed Sonos products in Canada in 2007 and 2008 before launching its Bluesound range of wireless speakers in 2013.

Sonos alleges this means Lenbrook “had intimate knowledge of Sonos’s wireless audio products and technology” before launching its own wireless audio range, and have copied Sonos rather than trying to compete with them.

Of particular focus is Sonos’ patents for multi-zone audio systems.

Sonos previously sued Denon and its parent Sound United over its HEOS wireless audio system in 2014, a case the two companies finally reached an undisclosed settlement over last year, shortly before Sonos floated on the Nasdaq.

According to Variety, Sonos has also reportedly been using its patents to pressure the likes of Amazon, Apple and Google to make their voice assistants available on Sonos products, given they use similar multi-room audio on their smart speakers.

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