Google infringed on Sonos patents, judge says

  • General

Google and Sonos have been engaged in a semi-public feud over the past couple of years, which has seen some legal battles as well. Following a lawsuit started in early 2020, a preliminary ruling has been passed down that accuses Google of infringing on several Sonos patents.

Sonos Chief Legal Officer Eddie Lazarus today revealed that the US International Trade Commission (ITC) has issued a preliminary ruling regarding its patent battle with Google. Chief administrative law judge Charles Bullock says that Google has infringed on “all five of Sonos’” patents. Sonos’ Eddie Lazarus said in a statement shared with TechCrunch:

We are pleased the ITC has confirmed Google’s blatant infringement of Sonos’ patented inventions. This decision re-affirms the strength and breadth of our portfolio, marking a promising milestone in our long-term pursuit to defend our innovation against misappropriation by Big Tech monopolies.

Sonos has previously alleged that Google is “blatantly and knowingly” been copying Sonos technology for use in Google Assistant speakers. If the lawsuit takes full effect, it could lead to a band by the ITC on many Google hardware products, including smart speakers, the Chromecast, and even Google’s Pixel smartphones.

In a statement, a Google spokesperson said:

We do not use Sonos’ technology, and we compete on the quality of our products and the merits of our ideas. We disagree with this preliminary ruling and will continue to make our case in the upcoming review process.

Today’s ruling, though, is not final. That verdict is expected to be handed down on December 13, and if a ban is enacted, it would take effect 60 days following the verdict. Google is facing similar threats in Germany as well. Google has also started a countersuit against Sonos.

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