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Hat Tricks
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Member since Oct 2003
27532 posts

Google to downgrade existing smart speakers after losing Sonos patent case

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Owners of Google’s smart speakers are set to get an upsetting update thanks to a big loss in a lawsuit with integrated speaker company, Sonos.

Arstechnica reports that a final ruling by the US International Trade Commission has confirmed that Google infringed on five of Sonos’ patents. They seem to be all around speaker groups, including setting them up and controlling them.

Sonos was basically the only name in the connected speaker game until voice assistance came along. They're pretty smart when it comes to sound, and may even be branching out into wireless headphones. In an article with The New York Times, Sonos claimed that Google got a look at how their system worked back in 2013 when the company was pitching to integrate with Google Play Music. It believes Google “blatantly and knowingly" copied Sonos when it made the Google Home speaker.

A win like this for Sonos could mean that Google’s products that infringe on these patents would be banned in the United States. However, instead Google has decided to release a software downgrade approved by the International Trade Commission.

Thankfully, most of the downgrades listed by Google probably won’t be noticed by most users, but there is one that has people upset. Google says most speaker groups should continue to function but might need to be updated, especially if non-Google products are in the mix and some users may have to user an extra app to complete installations and downloads. The real kicker is that this update will stop users from being able to adjust speaker volumes in groups, and will instead have to be done speaker by speaker.

Playing music on all Google home speakers simultaneously is actually pretty amazing. It does have that Sonos feel of music following you around the house, like you’re in a cool indie movie. It’s a large part of why I bothered having more than one Google speaker in my house in the first place, also I like to make sure they can spy on every room equally.

It turns out I’m not alone. The post from Google informing people about this software downgrade is full of angry customers upset about the change. Many are accusing Google of losing to Sonos and then passing the inconvenience onto the customer, rather than just paying the company its dues. Some are demanding rebates or refunds, which seems fair given the product no longer does what it claimed when purchased.

Whether this backlash will shake the tech giant is difficult to say. Next week everyone could have forgotten about their group volume controls on a smart speaker, or we could see Google finally just pay Sonos so I can have music in every room again.


CAD703X
US Space Force Fan
Liberty Island
Member since Jul 2008
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re: Google to downgrade existing smart speakers after losing Sonos patent case


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BottomlandBrew
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Member since Aug 2010
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re: Google to downgrade existing smart speakers after losing Sonos patent case
Why screw the consumer who unknowingly bought a product with a certain patented feature and not just penalize the corporation that sold it?


CAD703X
US Space Force Fan
Liberty Island
Member since Jul 2008
70930 posts

re: Google to downgrade existing smart speakers after losing Sonos patent case
quote:

Why screw the consumer who unknowingly bought a product with a certain patented feature and not just penalize the corporation that sold it?
well they did both.

google wants to steal another company's patents instead of paying to use them. its how they do business. they think their developers are too smart and creative with how they coded stuff to have to pay that lowly sonos company for something they are clearly much better at.

now they have pissed off users and can either pay up or disable the code from the patents they violated.

honestly surprised sonos won so they must have done a really good job writing up those original patents.

eta i got downvotes because i'm celebrating that google got punished for once. you guys are hopeless. how's that google dick taste?
This post was edited on 1/13 at 12:13 pm


Hat Tricks
LSU Fan
Member since Oct 2003
27532 posts

re: Google to downgrade existing smart speakers after losing Sonos patent case
quote:

eta i got downvotes because i'm celebrating that google got punished for once. you guys are hopeless. how's that google dick taste?


Google's not really getting punished. I am getting punished. I am sorry I don't stay up to date on patents when purchasing a product. I don't really get off on beating my chest over which product is better than the other. Do I use Google products? Sure. I like how they work. Do I give a damn enough to argue with someone over if they should also use Google products or not? Absolutely not.
This post was edited on 1/13 at 1:15 pm


CAD703X
US Space Force Fan
Liberty Island
Member since Jul 2008
70930 posts

re: Google to downgrade existing smart speakers after losing Sonos patent case
quote:

Google's not really getting punished. I am getting punished


not at all. you can politely ask google to properly license shite instead of stealing it and you'll get your disabled features back.

but they aren't going to do that are they?


Hat Tricks
LSU Fan
Member since Oct 2003
27532 posts

re: Google to downgrade existing smart speakers after losing Sonos patent case
quote:

not at all. you can politely ask google to properly license shite instead of stealing it and you'll get your disabled features back.

but they aren't going to do that are they?


You're really serious, aren't you?


CAD703X
US Space Force Fan
Liberty Island
Member since Jul 2008
70930 posts

re: Google to downgrade existing smart speakers after losing Sonos patent case
quote:

You're really serious, aren't you?
you aren't serious that you dont think they have the option to negotiate usage rights from sonos?


TigerWise
USA Fan
Front Seat of an Uber
Member since Sep 2010
34991 posts

re: Google to downgrade existing smart speakers after losing Sonos patent case
quote:

eta i got downvotes because i'm celebrating that google got punished for once. you guys are hopeless. how's that google dick taste?


:lmao:


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Hat Tricks
LSU Fan
Member since Oct 2003
27532 posts

re: Google to downgrade existing smart speakers after losing Sonos patent case
quote:


you aren't serious that you dont think they have the option to negotiate usage rights from sonos


Of course I realize they can but I don't see how it turns into "how does Google's dick taste."


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CAD703X
US Space Force Fan
Liberty Island
Member since Jul 2008
70930 posts

re: Google to downgrade existing smart speakers after losing Sonos patent case
Sonos isn't the bad guy here. They created an innovative product that is their entire business model and fighting to protect their ideas.

Google is a shitty company that throws millions of dollars at a thousand different projects and doesn't give a shite if they fail because they will just move on and leave the wreckage behind.

In this case that would have likely put sonos out of business before google's ADHD R&D department lost interest in wireless audio and moved on to the next business to wreck.
This post was edited on 1/14 at 8:12 am


CarRamrod
USA Fan
Spurbury, VT
Member since Dec 2006
54646 posts

re: Google to downgrade existing smart speakers after losing Sonos patent case
so......where can i get the firmware to reload on my google homes.


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Eighteen
Furman Fan
Member since Dec 2006
29628 posts
 Online 

re: Google to downgrade existing smart speakers after losing Sonos patent case
well this is some bull shite. being able to turn them all down from my phone is something I use constantly, I don’t even see how that’s a “feature” that’s a core function of the product


CAD703X
US Space Force Fan
Liberty Island
Member since Jul 2008
70930 posts

re: Google to downgrade existing smart speakers after losing Sonos patent case
quote:

I don’t even see how that’s a “feature” that’s a core function of the product
kinda like espn on youtube tv.

eta when did it become acceptable to consumers that lovers quarrels like the one between google & disney would affect a product you purchased?

i don't remember during the first 18 years of growing up my local cablevision dropping the local CBS affiliate due to 'contract negotiations'. stupidity and we're allowing this as consumers.
This post was edited on 1/14 at 10:18 am


bengalman
LSU Fan
In da Country
Member since Feb 2007
2047 posts

re: Google to downgrade existing smart speakers after losing Sonos patent case
I do enjoy my sonos speakers


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Hat Tricks
LSU Fan
Member since Oct 2003
27532 posts

re: Google to downgrade existing smart speakers after losing Sonos patent case
quote:


i don't remember during the first 18 years of growing up my local cablevision dropping the local CBS affiliate due to 'contract negotiations'. stupidity and we're allowing this as consumers.


Disputes between the programmers and cable providers have been going on forever. This isn't anything new. The cable providers aren't the bad guys here either. I can tell you that. Over the top providers came in with lower rates initially than traditional cable but their rates are high as giraffes arse now too. Why is that? Because the programmers have raised their rates too. It's a never-ending cycle. I work for a small ISP that also used to offer television service. I negotiated our contracts with these programmers so I know first hand how this works. We ended up getting out of the TV business because they're just isn't any money to be made in it anymore for us as a small operator.
This post was edited on 1/14 at 4:19 pm


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ArkLaTexTiger
LSU Fan
Houston
Member since Nov 2009
2184 posts

re: Google to downgrade existing smart speakers after losing Sonos patent case
I still can't believe Google dropped the Chromecast Audio.


AlxTgr
LSU Fan
Kyre Banorg
Member since Oct 2003
74256 posts

re: Google to downgrade existing smart speakers after losing Sonos patent case
The most useful tech item in my music world.


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Eighteen
Furman Fan
Member since Dec 2006
29628 posts
 Online 

re: Google to downgrade existing smart speakers after losing Sonos patent case
quote:

I still can't believe Google dropped the Chromecast Audio.



I really hope mine never kicks the bucket. Still going strong and used often


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