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How Sonos Played Patent Hardball to Strike Google Deal

Sonos had a big announcement last October: Its new voice-activated speaker would be the first to work with both Amazon’s Alexa and Google Assistant. What hasn’t been reported is that Sonos achieved this by using its patent portfolio to play hardball with Google.

The tech giant previously had resisted allowing Google Assistant to work in speakers or other connected home devices that also support Amazon Alexa voice assistant, say hardware industry executives.

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IP is ‘flexible...Companies can work with a brand like Sonos, but do it in a way that leverages the IP without actually exchanging cash.’