Bluesound defends Sonos' patent infringement claims

Bluesound defends Sonos patent infringement allegations
(Image credit: Bluesound)

Earlier this week we reported that Sonos was suing rival multi-room wireless brand for multiple alleged patent infringements, and now Lenbrook (owner of the Bluesound brand) has released a statement defending its position.

Lenbrook intends to "defend vigorously" the claims of copyright infringement, which Sonos filed in the United States District Court for the Central District of California on June 20th.

"Lenbrook respects the valid intellectual property rights of others, and in fact has entered into many patent licenses over its 40-year history," the release says, also noting that the proprietary development of Bluesound's ecosystem "relied on 40 years of internal or contracted Lenbrook know-how in the areas of amplification, acoustics, and connected audio".

Bluesound has arguably pioneered hi-res multi-room streaming in recent years, with its range of wireless speakers and hi-fi components supporting hi-res playback – something Sonos products don't. The company argues, then, that the Bluesound ecosystem's "high resolution audio capabilities substantively differentiates Lenbrook’s products from those of Sonos and many other of Sonos’ actual direct competitors."

Lenbrook also clarified its former position as a Sonos distributor after the filing suggested that the intimate knowledge of Sonos’s wireless audio products and technology led it to copy Sonos. The Canadian company "considers Sonos’ suggestion that its 10-month Canadian distributorship [between 2007 and 2008] of Sonos products somehow allowed or led Lenbrook to copy Sonos’ designs or ideas to be meritless and damaging to the reputation and value of the Lenbrook enterprise".

The release continues: "Lenbrook is also aware that in November 2018, Sonos sent letters to multiple audio companies, including Lenbrook, providing notice that Sonos believes that they all infringe certain Sonos patents. In accordance with Lenbrook’s standard business practice, while beginning its own investigation of Sonos’ patent concerns, Lenbrook, as a sign of goodwill and respect, did inquire whether Sonos had developed, a standard licensing program and terms. Lenbrook disagrees with the recent statement from a Sonos “spokesperson” characterizing the substance of the parties’ licensing discussions."

The statement concluded with Lenbrook looking forward to "a prompt resolution of Sonos’ claims".


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Becky Roberts

Becky is the managing editor of What Hi-Fi? and, since her recent move to Melbourne, also the editor of Australian Hi-Fi magazine. During her 10 years in the hi-fi industry, she has been fortunate enough to travel the world to report on the biggest and most exciting brands in hi-fi and consumer tech (and has had the jetlag and hangovers to remember them by). In her spare time, Becky can often be found running, watching Liverpool FC and horror movies, and hunting for gluten-free cake.