Santa Barbara-based electronics company, Sonos Inc. has recently announced a unique strategy in regards to intellectual property.
The company, best known for its high-fidelity speakers and streaming software, now intends to “forward-publish” its patent applications, giving the world a sneak peak of what it’s up to before the USPTO officially posts the patents. Sonos co-founder and general counsel, Craig Shelburne, explains that “in the interests of being transparent and eliminating surprises” the company will be forward-publishing all patent filings going forward, with the exception of those covering inventions not yet implemented in available Sonos products.
In a company blog entry, he also states that “We know that others can- and will – benefit from the time, energy and investment we have put into our patented inventions,” and that others should use this opportunity “to create differentiated products, rather than merely incorporating or copying our inventions without our permission.”
While some are skeptical of the company’s latest move, Sonos remains in good spirits having seen incredible growth in just the past year with revenue increases of over 90% to roughly $535 million. The company hopes that this new strategy will only encourage further innovation and success for both itself and its competitors.
Sonos currently holds around 200 patents and seems to have no plans when it comes to joining forces with those abusing the patent system. In fact, Shelburne has made it a point to say
that Sonos is actually “more anxious to halt abuses than recognize them as a cost of doing business.”
For a look at the company’s latest blog entry, or for more information on this unique IP strategy, click here.