Sonos wins patent ruling in Denon lawsuit

Sonos brought the lawsuit back in 2014, alleging that the "manufacture, distribution, and/or sale of the HEOS system infringes a number of Sonos patents related to wireless audio products".

The lawsuit concerned a total of 12 patents relating to control and operation of multi-room systems, which Sonos claimed Denon's HEOS speakers infringed.

Last year, D&M Holdings moved for a partial judgement on four of the patents, which the company claimed were "directed to ineligible subject matter". These four patents broadly related to volume control and the method of grouping multi-room speakers together.

This week a US court ruled against D&M Holdings, citing Section 101 of the Patent Act, which says: "Whoever invents or discovers any new and useful process, machine, manufacture, or composition of matter, or any new and useful improvement thereof, may obtain a patent therefor, subject to the conditions and requirements of this title."

The court ruled that the patents did not cover "abstract ideas" and were eligible for patent protection.

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Joe Cox
Content Director

Joe is the Content Director for What Hi-Fi? and Future’s Product Testing, having previously been the Global Editor-in-Chief of What Hi-Fi?. He has worked on What Hi-Fi? across the print magazine and website for almost 20 years, writing news, reviews and features on everything from turntables to TVs, headphones to hi-fi separates. He has covered product launch events across the world, from Apple to Technics, Sony and Samsung; reported from CES, the Bristol Show, and Munich High End for many years; and written for sites such as the BBC, Stuff, and the Guardian. In his spare time, he enjoys expanding his vinyl collection and cycling (not at the same time).