US regulator rules that Google infringed on Sonos speaker patents


The US International Trade Commission has agreed with Sonos’ claims that Google had infringed on its speaker and cast patents. It issued its preliminary determination again in August, and this finalizes its ruling, which prohibits Google from importing merchandise discovered to have violated Sonos’ mental properties. Since Google manufactures its merchandise in China, that means it will not be capable of will get them shipped to the US when the import ban takes impact in 60 days.

Sonos sued Google in 2020 over 5 patents, which embody one that particulars a know-how permitting wi-fi audio system to sync with each other. As The New York Times notes, the merchandise affected embody Google’s Home sensible audio system, Pixel telephones and computer systems, in addition to Chromecast gadgets. While Google is dealing with an import ban, a spokesperson mentioned that the tech large does not anticipate the ruling to interrupt its means to import and promote gadgets. 

“While we disagree with today’s decision, we appreciate that the International Trade Commission has approved our modified designs,” the spokesperson advised Protocol. “We will seek further review and continue to defend ourselves against Sonos’ frivolous claims about our partnership and intellectual property.” The fee did not problem these different designs in its last determination, which suggests Google can implement them. 

In truth, the Nest staff has not too long ago announced some adjustments to speaker teams, which it says is “due to a recent legal ruling.” The most notable change is that, going ahead, customers will not be capable of regulate the quantity of all audio system in a bunch unexpectedly. They’d have to regulate every speaker individually as an alternative.

In a press release, Sonos Chief Legal Officer Eddie Lazarus admitted that there is a chance that “Google will be able to degrade or eliminate product features in a way that circumvents the importation ban that the ITC has imposed.” However, he mentioned the tech large’s merchandise will nonetheless “infringe many dozens of Sonos patents” — that is, except Google pays Sonos royalties for its applied sciences. 

His entire assertion reads:

“We recognize that the ITC has definitively validated the 5 Sonos patents at problem on this case and dominated unequivocally that Google infringes all 5. That is an throughout the board win that is surpassingly uncommon in patent circumstances and underscores the energy of Sonos’s intensive patent portfolio and the hollowness of Google’s denials of copying. These Sonos patents cover Sonos’ groundbreaking invention of extraordinarily widespread residence audio options, together with the arrange for controlling residence audio methods, the synchronization of a number of audio system, the unbiased quantity management of various audio system, and the stereo pairing of audio system. 

There is a chance that Google will be capable of degrade or get rid of product options in a approach that circumvents the importation ban that the ITC has imposed. But whereas Google might sacrifice client expertise in an try to avoid this importation ban, its merchandise will nonetheless infringe many dozens of Sonos patents, its wrongdoing will persist, and the damages owed Sonos will proceed to accrue. Alternatively, Google can —as different corporations have already executed — pay a good royalty for the applied sciences it has misappropriated.”

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