The US ITC Ruling Finds That Google Infringed on Sonos’ Patents

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The United States International Trade Commission (ITC) ruled that the Cali-based tech giant Google infringed upon audio patents held by Sonos. The court ruling means that Google will no longer be able to import products that infringe upon the intellectual property of the company Sonos. However, the court ruling will now be forwarded to US president Joe Biden who has a time of 60 days to veto the order. Sonos filed its official complaint in January 2020.

The ruling comes after almost two years as the commission spent time looking into whether Google violated the Tariff Act of 1930. After a judge had ruled that Google had infringed on Sonos’ patent, the commission has deliberated over this matter since August 2021.

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The company Sonos had initially asked the ITC to block imports of Google products that were in violation of the Tariff Act, and the products in question included Google Home smart speakers, Pixel smartphones, and Chromecast devices.

“While we disagree with today’s decision, we will ensure our shared customers have the best experience using our products and do not experience any disruption,” Google spokesperson José Castañeda said. “We will seek further review and continue to defend ourselves against Sonos’ frivolous claims about our partnership and intellectual property.”

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Sonos CEO Patrick Spence had claimed when the complaint was filed that the tech giant deliberately copied its patented audio technology. Sonos had also claimed that the company would have liked it if Google licensed its technology, and there was even a discussion on this front. According to an estimation report published by Sonos’ Chief Legal Officer Eddie Lazarus, Google had infringed on more than 150 of the company’s patents.

Although the court ruled in favor of Sonos, Google has the opportunity to appeal the ruling after the presidential review period.

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