Lawsuit: Sonos vs Denon HEOS

Not only is Sonos the inventor of wireless audio technology, but most would agree that Sonos is by far the #1 wireless music system. Although there are some decent competitors, Sonos takes the cake. One shockingly very similar competitor is Denon’s HEOS, another wireless audio system, and Sonos just filed a lawsuit against D&M Holdings (the company of Denon and Marantz) for patent infringement.

If you’re aware of the Sonos system, then you’d know that Sonos’s product line consists of the PLAY:5 speaker, the PLAY:3 Speaker, the PLAY:1 speaker, the CONNECT pre-amp, the CONNECT:AMP amplifier, the PLAYBAR speaker, and the SUB speaker, all controlled by the Sonos app.

D&M Holdings didn’t seem to put much differentiation into the Denon’s HEOS system product line. They consist of the HEOS 7 speaker, HEOS 5 speaker, HEOS 3 speaker, the HEOS LINK pre-amp, and the HEOS AMP amplifier, also controlled by a HEOS app.

It’s perfectly understandable to take on Sonos as a direct competitor, but come on! Seriously? You couldn’t come up with any other name for your product line? I wonder what guy thought that one up. Not only that, but say the following names out loud for me: “HEOS”. Now say “SONOS”. Tell me that doesn’t sound intentional. It may seem a bit nit-picky, but once I dove into the lawsuit, their website, marketing, graphics and materials are way too similar. Furthermore, I never paid much attention to it until now, but the Denon’s catchphrase is practically the same. “Fill every room with music” vs. “Fill your home with music”.

It’s a bit sad that it had to come this far. Sonos isn’t hurting for money, they just want their patents to protect their hard earned invention. They even went on to say in a recent Sonos Blog:

“This is not an action we take lightly, as we’re not fans of resorting to the courts to resolve disputes. As a next step, we will offer to sit down with Denon, explain our views and give them time to modify their products. We are not asking for a royalty or other license fee – we just want Denon to build an experience that isn’t copying ours.”

I truly believe it has nothing to do with viewing Denon HEOS as a direct threat. If anything, true innovators welcome competitor challenges. But there’s a fine line between competition and plain old copycats. That’s why patents exist, and Sonos plans on keeping what’s rightfully theirs!

Once again, our team here at Advanced Integrated Controls (AIC) will keep you posted on all the latest technology news. Including your home theater, home automation and home audio systems.

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