Wireless Audio Patent Infringement by Sonos?

I copied and pasted this article from Strata-gee.com–an industry newsletter. This sounds a lot like the Naim (and Others) wireless speakers–Muso and Qb? I just wonder if Naim is in their sights?

Clearly Presented Background to the Matter

Sonos started their complaint with a complete but simple background explanation as to just what this case is about. They explained in the opening paragraphs how their invention differs from most of the systems that existed at that time.

From the Complaint: “In contrast to conventional home audio systems that required a centralized receiver tied to speakers with a maze of wires, Sonos invented a multi-room wireless home audio systems with intelligent, networked playback devices that did not require wired connections to a centralized receiver.”

Improving on the Deficiencies of Conventional Audio Systems

Later on, they added: “Thus, Sonos’s audio system comprising networked ‘zone players’ controlled by physical ‘controllers’ over a data network provided an entirely new paradigm in home audio that improved upon the technological deficiencies of conventional audio systems.”

Interesting - surely they just applied music to WiFi technology? Or am I missing something?

I’m not sure I understand exactly who is accusing who of what here!! As far as I’m aware, Sonos use their own modified version of UPnP, which is not strictly compliant with UPnP/DLNA. Many other brands, including Naim, use UPnP.
Likewise, if Sonos have failed to satisfy the WiFi Alliance, that would be their problem, not Naim’s.

I haven’t read the patent but if as seems possible from the original post that they have patented the concept of distributed music between several home units without a central server, then it wouldn’t matter whether it was ethernet cable, WiFi, a proprietary radio implementation or black magic than carried the audio, the patent would potentially be infringed.


Thanks for unbundling that.
Sounds similar to distributed databases in the IT world.

I think Sonos are suing Bluesound for infringing their patents on distributed music.According to the article I saw (What Hifi has it among others), features such as remote volume control and zone syncing are covered.

That’s correct, if you search www “Sonos suing Bluesound” you have the story

This could be interesting… i think most would agree Sonos was the innovator here to which many followed…

Sounds like sour grapes to me. Who’s next Denon? Sonos is being undermined by better technology and they are not happy. Sonos has not updated it’s old tech, still stuck in 44.1 and then it sounds crap. When ever I have heard my friends I wince at how awful it sounds. They may have stared the wireless race but they are far from.being the best and still over priced.

As a patent attorney I can tell you, unequivocally, that you have to read the asserted patent(s) and be facile at legally interpreting patent claims in order to figure out what this is about and what actually might infringe the asserted patent(s).

The language in the Complaint is always rather gratuitous, and makes it seem that the patent owner invented the light bulb and sliced bread. The languag ein the Complaint is legally meaningless for the most part; they are just telling a bit of the story. It’s the properly, legally, interpreted patent claims that define the scope of the invention and of what others are excluded from doing without a license. If the claims are valid over the prior art, that is . . . .


Actually CrystalGipsy

I did not include the first line of this article. It was that Sonos had won an infringement suit against Denon and how were going after Bluesound.

From the What Hifi article Denon settled out of court in 2014.

I saw a comment in one of the hifi mags that suggested that Sonos may have used their patent protfolio to twist the arms of other companies such as Apple (with Airplay, Siri), Google etc to ‘ease’ licensing negotiations for various streaming protocols to be included in the Sonos range.

When many of these things were docks I guess Apple could have refused to certify the product for use with iPod/iPhone and so forth, and extend this down the line to use of Airplay.

The other thing that the article mentioned was that the company being sued were Sonos distributors for many years prior to developing items in house and it was felt they’d perhaps had an advantage due to more inside knowledge of the Sonos range than other competitors?

Possible but unlikely… that starts to look uncompetitive and restrictive. As it is Apple are being challenged over their walled garden application model and associated charges for iOS devices.

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