SONOS TAKES BLUESOUND TO COURT FOR COPYING

Jay Garrett's avatar

by Jay Garrett

26th June, 2019

SONOS TAKES BLUESOUND TO COURT FOR COPYING

Sonos is suing rival multi-room brand Bluesound for patent infringement relating to several Bluesound speakers.

The action, filed in California court, references seven different patents that cover the synchronisation and volume control of multi-room speakers, as well as network media playback.

Sonos says it sent Lenbrook, the parent company of Bluesound, a notice of infringement on 70 patents in November last year and has notified it on another 45 patent infringements this month.

Sonos v Bluesound CEPro

In the lawsuit, Sonos waxes lyrical about its position as “an innovator and industry leader in the field of wireless audio technology.” The Santa Barbara-based company states it “reinvented home audio for the digital age.” A lofty claim? Perhaps, but we are also tempted to agree when we consider how the audio landscape looked back in the early 2000s.

Sonos v Bluesound

Sonos was founded in 2002, and Lenbrook launched Bluesound in 2013. Before that, Ontario-based Lenbrook was a Sonos distributor in Canada from 2007 to 2008, and it is put that the “Defendants have had intimate knowledge of Sonos’s wireless audio products and technology since at least 2007, more than six years before Defendants released their first Bluesound products.” According to the claim, the “Defendants’ experience as a Sonos distributor was a catalyst for Defendants’ decision to launch the Bluesound System in 2013 ...”, with the final blow stating “Instead of innovating to compete fairly with Sonos… defendants have merely copied Sonos.”

Lenbrook International Responds to Sonos Claim

Although we do not have any insider knowledge regarding the above claims, one thing appears to be consistent, Bluesound products are generally reviewed as having better sound quality than Sonos. We have certainly been impressed by the brand’s hi-res offerings.

Sonos v Bluesound

Sonos also then starts taking aesthetic swipes at Bluesound products, pointing out similarities between the two brands' designs.

Sonos does have previous regarding lawsuits against an audio rival. In 2014, Denon (when under D&M Holdings) settled out of court when Sonos sued the Japanese audio company for patent infringement with its Denon HEOS multi-room system. Perhaps buoyed by that outcome, they fancy their chances against the Canadians?

We are aware of the vast patent library that Sonos holds and also how the brand was synonymous with wireless networked audio. Is this simply Sonos protecting its intellectual property or is this the motive of a company who is finding it more challenging to compete in an extremely hard-fought arena?

Update 27.06.2019

Lenbrook International has issued a statement to StereoNET which it has also published on its website.

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Written by:

Jay Garrett

StereoNET UK’s Editor and Bass playing gadget junkie. He’s captained the good ship GadgetyNews for over a decade, making low jargon high tech a very handy thing. His passion for gadgets and Hi-Fi is second only to being a touring musician.

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Posted in: Hi-Fi Lifestyle Integration Smart Homes & IoT Industry
Tags: artison  sonos  bluesound  lenbrook 

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