Wednesday, July 6, 2022

Google and Sonos spat breaks down Pixel phones’ smart home

Google is definitely an orange cat. Mariya Ilmaz/ (modified)

It’s been half a year since Sonos won a patent infringement lawsuit against Google, but the two companies are still fighting. Google said in a community blog post that some Pixel phones won’t be able to set up new or recently disconnected smart home devices due to “disruptions caused by Sonos.”

These types of blog posts are Google’s go-to when it comes to spreading customer anger. It’s the same thing we saw in Google’s feud with Roku — blaming another company for the problem and suggesting that some users might get free replacements.

Google doesn’t provide a real explanation for the problem, which it calls “provisional”.but in a statement 9to5Googleit said Sonos has been using the legal system “in a way that deliberately creates problems” for users.

“Our support team is always ready to resolve any issues and if needed we will send a replacement device or provide Google Store credit. Over the years we have worked hard to ensure that our mutual customers have a positive experience and continue to be intentional about Sonos Disappointed by the way these users created problems using the legal system.”

Here’s the thing; the FTC ruled that Google infringed Sonos patents. Even though Sonos is intent on turning the Pixel owner’s reach into an ace, it operates within the law. You know, what Google didn’t do when it stole Sonos technology.

While you should question everything Google and Sonos say about this situation, it seems like Google could pay to license Sonos’ tech and end the whole thing.At least, that’s what a Sonos rep said Android Central.

“Google’s Pixel outage is a direct result of its decision to infringe Sonos’ patents rather than license them under ITC regulations.”

“It’s all about Google’s decision to cause further harm to its customers rather than act responsibly, and companies trying to accuse it of misappropriating its innovations are arrogant.”

We don’t know the full details behind the case. Maybe Sonos is trying to charge a lot for those licenses, or enforce regulations that don’t work for Google. Either way, clients don’t need to deal with this mess.

If this seems to be a new trend, it’s because cloud-connected devices are becoming more common. Companies can remove features from these products at any time, or even break devices without alerting customers.

This brings us into an interesting pickle. Patent infringement cases don’t affect what customers have already purchased until the product is cloud-connected. Should a court case like the one between Google and Sonos have an impact on what we already buy, or should it only apply to new products?

Source: Google License via Android


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