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Thursday, January 20, 2022

Google Has Infringed Sonos’ Patents, Rules US Judge

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Two years ago, Sonos sued Google suggesting that the Mountain View giant has stolen its multi-room speaker technology patents. Fast-forward to 2022, Sonos has won the lawsuit, which finds Google guilty of patent infringement. Hence, an import ban on Google has been ordered by US’ International Trade Commission. Here’s everything you need to know about Sonos’ victory.

Sonos Wins Against Google

It has been revealed that ITC’s judge has ruled in the favor of Sonos and suggested that Google has violated the Tariff Act of 1930. As a result, it has imposed an import ban on some of Google’s audio products in the US. Google has 60 days to comply before the ban becomes official.

For those who don’t know, Google has been found guilty of infringing five of Sonos’ patents, which it acquired back in 2013 when both companies entered into a partnership. The patents include the syncing of multiple audio devices on a wireless network, the ability to control the volumes of various audio products at once, the stereo pairing of devices, and more.

In its lawsuit application, Sonos claimed that Google’s products have overshadowed the Sonos ones. When Google was sued back in 2020, it counter-attacked by suing Sonos to which Sonos replied suggesting that Google is responsible for stealing five more patents.

While there are chances this decision could impact the sales of the Google products (such as Google Nest, Chromecasts, Pixel phones) in the US, Google is certain that it won’t be the case. In a statement to The Verge, the company says, “We do not expect any impact to our ability to import or sell our products.

Sonos suggests that the list of Google products that use its technology include the Nest Hub, Nest Mini, and Chromecast, PixelBook Go, Pixel 3/ 4, and even YouTube Music. Google is said to release some software updates to these devices to remove features that are taken from Sonos to circumvent the import ban.

Moreover, Google has already started releasing changes to the volume adjustments features and the initial setup process for its speakers. Hence, chances are Google’s sales will not really be impacted. But, IDC’s decision still has an impact on its image! What are your thoughts on this? Let us know in the comments below!

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