The tables have apparently been turned on Sonos, Inc. which now finds itself the subject of an investigation into alleged patent infringement by the U.S. International Trade Commission (USITC). The agency decided to launch an investigation of Sonos after receiving a complaint from Alphabet, Inc.’s Google division. There is one simple question: is Sonos a patent infringer?
Has MoFi Been Pretending?
A lawsuit alleging a variety of deceptive practices by Mobile Fidelity Sound Lab, Inc. (Mobile Fidelity or MoFi), a major player in the premium analog vinyl record community, has been filed by premium vinyl record fan Adam Stiles. Stiles is bringing this case on behalf of himself “…and all others similarly situated against Defendent Mobile Fidelity Sound Labs, Inc.”
Those whom he seeks to represent are all customers who purchased MoFi products since 2011 on the basis of the company’s assurance of its products’ pure analog, direct from the master tape, heritage. It turns out that this crucial selling point for the company is…allegedly…in many cases, a lie.
See more on the alleged deception by Mobile Fidelity Sound Lab[Read more…] about Audiophile Hero Mobile Fidelity Hit With Multi-Million Dollar Class Action Lawsuit
After two years of tussling in courts, with both sides registering a mix of wins and losses on various matters, you’d think some kind of settlement would be in order. But last week, Google intensified its patent war with Sonos by opening up yet another front with two new lawsuits on voice control and other technologies, leading me to believe that any type of settlement is yet down the road.
Learn how Google has opened a new front with Sonos[Read more…] about Google Intensified Its Patent War With Sonos, Launched Battle on New Front
Expects $10-$14 Million in Licensing Fees in Current Quarter
Back in August 2020, I told you about Koss Corporation filing patent infringement claims against Apple Inc, Bose Corporation, PEAG LLC (JLAB Audio), Plantronics, and Skullcandy. It seemed like an improbable journey for the relatively small specialty headphone maker, but they plunged ahead anyway confident that their wireless audio patents had been unfairly infringed.
This week, after two years of legal battles that had intensified in 2022 and on the eve of a jury trial with mighty Apple, Inc. the two parties reached an agreement settling all disputes in a deal that looks really sweet for Koss.
See more on the big win for Koss[Read more…] about Tiny Koss Scores Big Win over Giant Apple in Patent Dispute Settlement
But Did Google Ultimately Outsmart Them?
I don’t think it’s possible for me to overstate the significance of what just happened last week when, in a final decision from the U.S. International Trade Commission, the full panel affirmed a commission judge’s ruling that Google had in fact infringed on five patents held by Sonos. It is a real-life version of the bible story of David versus Goliath. Make no mistake, this David’s win may change our industry in fundamental ways.
A Tech David takes down a Tech Goliath[Read more…] about Goliath Has Fallen; Sonos Prevails Over Google in ITC Patent Action
Allegations of Conspiring With China’s Gov’t to Use Uyghurs in a Forced Labor Arrangement
In a rare show of bipartisanship, a group of U.S. Senators has sent a strongly worded letter to a leading consumer electronics industry remote control maker Universal Electronics, Inc. (UEI) launching a probe into the company’s hiring practices in China. Unique to UEI is that they own their own factories in China (most contract with existing China OEM factories) and a recent damning investigation by Reuters alleges the company is working with the Chinese government to utilize a widely persecuted Uyghur minority in a forced labor arrangement, a human rights violation. UEI has denied the accusation but so far has not provided data to back up their denial.
See more on the UEI labor situation in China[Read more…] about UEI Earns Wide National News Coverage for All the Wrong Reasons
Broad Implications of Roku, Inc. v. Universal Electronics, Inc.
The U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC) has launched a massive investigation into a wide range of televisions, remote controls, and other components that is sure to rattle a few cages around the industry. The investigation is the result of a patent infringement action taken by Roku, Inc. (Roku) against Universal Electronics, Inc. (UEI) and a long list of UEI customers and associates back in April. At the same time that Roku filed their lawsuit in a California District Court, they also filed a complaint with the ITC alleging Section 337 violations (“unfair imports”) by the same long list of prominent players in electronics.
See more on the Roku / ITC investigation[Read more…] about U.S. ITC Launches Massive Investigation of Certain TVs, Remotes & Components
LG Electronics (LG) announced last week that they had prevailed in a patent infringement lawsuit they had filed against Chinese powerhouse TCL Communication Technology Limited and two other affiliated European entities in Germany. While this is just one of three suits brought by LG, it’s the first argued, resulting in a winning decision.
See more on the lawsuits between these two giants…[Read more…] about LG Prevails in First of Three Patent Lawsuits Against TCL
Who Will Run the Company with Lee Incarcerated?
On Monday, Samsung Electronics Vice Chairman Lee Jae-yong – also known as JY Lee, J. Y. Lee or Jay Y. Lee – was sentenced to 2½ years in prison for his role in a bribery and embezzlement scheme to influence the President of South Korea in order to increase his share and power in the company. This development is big news in Korea. Samsung Electronics, part of the Samsung family of companies that is the largest conglomerate in South Korea, by itself represents almost 20% of the entire value of all exports from Korea.
See this sensational Samsung…ah…stuff![Read more…] about Judge Sends Samsung CEO Back to Prison for 2½ Years
In yet another sign of patent success for Sonos, major industry player Legrand has agreed to a multi-year licensing deal to cover the technology used in their Nuvo line of wireless multi-room products. This is yet another sign that tends to add to the growing power of the Sonos patent portfolio covering these technologies.