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Google Nest & Chromecast smart speakers regain ability to support multiple speaker groups with recent patent victory over Sonos

Sonos and Google Legal Battle Continues: Multiple Speaker Groups Restored

In 2020, a legal war began between tech giants Sonos and Google, with allegations of theft and patent infringement. This resulted in an import ban on several Google smart home products, including Nest, Chromecast, and Pixel smartphones. Unfortunately, consumers were also affected by the ongoing legal battles, losing key functionalities on their devices.

To comply with the cease and desist court order, Google had to make changes to the way users could control their smart home devices. One of these changes was the removal of the ability to add Nest speakers, displays, and Chromecast devices to multiple speaker groups, among other software limitations.

In a recent blog post, Google provided an update on the case. Last week, a federal judge ruled in favor of Google regarding two patents in question. The court emphasized that this was not a case of an inventor leading the industry, but rather an inventor claiming ideas already being implemented by the industry. Google had shared a plan for a product that practiced what would later become the claimed invention with Sonos back in 2014. Sonos, however, decided to pursue claims on the invention in 2019 and only introduced it in their product line in 2020.

Following this legal decision, Google announced that it will be rolling back the changes made to speaker groups. Devices will now be able to live in multiple speaker groups, providing greater flexibility to users. The Google Home app for Android will receive an update in the next 48 hours, with an update for iOS coming soon. Affected units, including Nest speakers, displays, and Chromecast devices, will also receive this change.

Despite this positive development, Sonos has responded by stating that they believe the court decision was wrong and plan to appeal. It remains to be seen how this ongoing battle between Google and Sonos will impact consumers.

As always, we will keep you updated on any further developments regarding this case. Stay tuned!

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