An initial ruling from a U.S. International Trade Commission judge has found that Google has infringed upon five Sonos patents. Sonos first sued Google over patent infringement back in January of 2020.
Sonos claimed that Google stole technology it had access to due to a partnership between the two companies and used that tech in its own products. Sonos also demanded that a sales ban be placed on a selection of Google hardware such as Nest Hubs, Chromecasts, and Pixel phones.
“Google has been blatantly and knowingly copying our patented technology,” Sonos CEO Patrick Spence had said in a statement to Tech Crunch when the suit was initially filed. “Despite our repeated and extensive efforts over the last few years, Google has not shown any willingness to work with us on a mutually beneficial solution. We’re left with no choice but to litigate.”
Google responded to the ruling with the following statement:
“We do not use Sonos’ technology, and we compete on the quality of our products and the merits of our ideas,” Google Spokesperson José Castañeda said. “We disagree with this preliminary ruling and will continue to make our case in the upcoming review process.”
When is the final ruling?
A final ruling is expected to be released on December 13. If an import ban is set on Google it would then take 60 days to go into effect. Google has already filed a countersuit and Sonos has responded by filing yet another suit regarding five more products.
It's a messy ordeal but one that Sonos seems to be winning. In a statement to The Verge, Google said the ruling “is only a first step in a lengthy battle” but calls it an “important milestone in the ongoing effort to defend Sonos’ technology against Google.” The firm also added that its effort against Google is meant to “ensure all companies, regardless of size, receive fair compensation for investing in the development of industry leading technology.”
IE has reached out to both Sonos and Google for statements and will be posting any responses as soon as it receives them.