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U.S. District Court Judge Edward M. Chen granted a motion to dismiss one of the patents used by Google in its countersuit against Sonos on Monday, agreeing with the smart speaker maker that the technology described in the patent in question represented an abstract idea that was "not patent eligible."
A Google spokesperson declined to comment.
"We are encouraged by the court's decision in our favor, and it underscores our belief that this case is no more than a retaliatory effort by Google to redirect blame and punish Sonos for defending our IP," said Sonos Chief Legal Officer Eddie Lazarus.
Monday's court decision still leaves Google with four patents in its lawsuit, which the company filed in June in response to a patent infringement lawsuit filed by Sonos against Google in January.
In addition to the lawsuit, Sonos also filed a complaint with the International Trade Commission, and Sonos CEO Patrick Spence participated in a congressional hearing to testify against alleged anti-competitive behavior by Google and Amazon. "I feel like it is our duty to shine a light on these things," he told Protocol in February.
Janko Roettgers (@jank0) is a senior reporter at Protocol, reporting on the shifting power dynamics between tech, media, and entertainment, including the impact of new technologies. Previously, Janko was Variety's first-ever technology writer in San Francisco, where he covered big tech and emerging technologies. He has reported for Gigaom, Frankfurter Rundschau, Berliner Zeitung, and ORF, among others. He has written three books on consumer cord-cutting and online music and co-edited an anthology on internet subcultures. He lives with his family in Oakland.