Posted on 21st May, 2018


The long legal stoush between Sonos and Sound United, the parent company of HEOS, has ended with an undisclosed settlement agreed to by the warring companies.

The legal marathon began four years ago in the USA when Sonos sued Sound United citing patent infringements by Denon with its HEOS wireless technology.

Sound United, the owner of Denon, Marantz and Polk decided to take Sonos on in court.

The result was a defeat for Denon with a court ruling three Sonos patents had been breached. Denon was ordered to compensate Sonos with US$2 million for breaches occurring between the HEOS debut in 2014 and up until the end of 2016.

Things got even more heated when Sonos initiated another legal challenge against Denon.

The new writ claimed Denon continued to breach Sonos patents through 2017 and it sought compensation for what it described in its documents as “enhanced” damages.

The basis for Sonos' continuing legal battle was the jury’s description of Denon’s behaviour at the previous court case as “wilful”.

Sonos even went so far as demanding that D&M Holdings, Denon’s previous owner should also be penalised for what it described as “inappropriate actions (that) caused Sonos to waste time and significant resources”. Sonos won on all counts.

Denon fired back with a claim against Sonos, a move that has now ended with the recent settlement agreed to by all parties.

Sound United CEO, Kevin Duffy remained upbeat.

He said:

Today’s agreement demonstrates our belief in moving the industry forward and removing barriers for both parties to deliver products that delight customers.

Our direction with HEOS is unchanged.

Veteran industry observers say the outcome represents a clear win for Sonos but without details of the settlement agreement, it’s hard to say if HEOS technology will be tweaked to comply with existing Sonos patents.

The betting is that it will.

Peter Familari's avatar

Peter Familari

One of the veterans of the Australian HiFi industry, Peter was formerly the Audio-Video Editor of the Herald Sun for over two decades. One of the most-respected audio journalists in Australia, Peter brings his unparalleled experience and a unique story-telling ability to StereoNET.

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Posted in: Hi-Fi Lifestyle Industry
Tags: sonos  heos