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Sonos sues rival Bluesound for patent infringement

(Image credit: Bluesound)

Sonos is suing Lenbrook Industries, the parent company of rival Bluesound multi-room brand, for copyright infringement relating to a number of Bluesound speakers.

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

As reported by CEPro, Sonos says it sent Lenbrook a notice of infringement on 70 patents in November last year, and has notified it on another 45 patent infringements this month.

Lenbrook was a distributor of Sonos products from 2007 before launching its rival Bluesound wireless multi-room speaker brand, which has since gone on to be a What Hi-Fi? Award winner.

“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,” says the filed claim, according to the report by Variety. “Instead of innovating to compete fairly with Sonos (…) defendants have merely copied Sonos.”

Neither Sonos nor Bluesound has published comment on the matter.

This is the second such lawsuit Sonos has filed against an audio rival. In 2014, Denon (then 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.

It's believed the company has used the weight of its patent library to encourage Apple, Amazon and Google to license their voice assistant to Sonos products, too.

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Dan Sung

Dan is a staff writer at What Hi-Fi? and his job is with product reviews as well as news, feature and advice articles too. He works across both the hi-fi and AV parts of the site and magazine and has a particular interest in home cinema. Dan joined What Hi-Fi? in 2019 and has worked in tech journalism for over a decade, writing for Tech Digest, Pocket-lint, MSN Tech and Wareable as well as freelancing for T3, Metro and the Independent. Dan has a keen interest in playing and watching football. He has also written about it for the Observer and FourFourTwo and ghost authored John Toshack's autobiography, Toshack's Way.