Patent win over Sonos reinstates multiple speaker groups for Google Nest & Chromecast smart speakers

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Patent win over Sonos reinstates multiple speaker groups for Google Nest & Chromecast smart speakers
It's been quite the ride since 2020 when a legal war began between Sonos and Google, claiming theft and patent infringement, resulting in an import ban on a number of Google smart home products including Nest, Chromecast, and Pixel smartphones. Additionally, as the two companies have continued to go back and forth suing each other, the consumer paid the price by losing key functionality on their devices.

One of the changes Google had to implement in order to comply with the cease and desist court order that was placed on the company, was to make changes to the way its smart home devices could be controlled by users. After a software update, Google removed the ability to add Nest speakers, displays, and Chromecast devices to multiple speaker groups, among other software limitations.


Today, in a scathing blog post, Google has provided an update on the ongoing case, adding that last week a federal judge ruled in its favor when it pertains to two of the patents in question. The court wrote the below in its decision:


Devices will now be able to live in multiple speaker groups

Following the announcement of the legal decision, Google swiftly took to its Google Nest Community with a post advising that it will be rolling back the changes made to speaker groups where devices could only belong to one speaker group at a time. Therefore, an update to the Google Home app for Android will be coming in the next 48 hours and soon on iOS. Affected units, such as Nest speakers, displays, and Chromecast devices, will also be updated with this change.

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While this is great news for those of us that own Google smart speakers, let's not all celebrate too soon. According to Reuters (via 9to5Google), Sonos has responded to the decision by stating that it was "wrong on both the facts and the law" and that an appeal would follow. Let's hope this war between Google and Sonos doesn't continue to affect us, the consumers.

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