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Google Infringed Sonos Patents For Smart Speakers

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Are some of the technology in Google Assistant speakers based on Sonos patents? A court in the USA had to deal with this question – and found the online giant guilty. What follows is still uncertain.

Judge recognizes the patent infringement

It is about a patent dispute that Google and Sonos initially kept out of the media quite successfully last year. In the legal dispute, Sonos accused Google of violating several of the company’s patents, i.e. using them without corresponding agreements or licensing agreements. After the legal dispute that was finally initiated at the beginning of 2020, a provisional judgment has now been made. A US judge from the International Trade Commission (ITC) has upheld the patent infringement.

Eddie Lazarus, Sonos’ chief lawyer, confirmed the decision and told the online magazine TechCrunch that they were satisfied with the result. “We are pleased that ITC has confirmed Google’s blatant infringement of Sonos’ patented inventions. This decision confirms the strength and scope of our portfolio and represents a promising milestone in our long-term endeavor to protect our innovations against misappropriation by Big -Tech monopolies to defend. “

ITC chief administrative judge Charles Bullock had stated that Google had infringed “all five of Sonos’ patents,” which were the subject of the lawsuit. The verdict has not yet been published. It shouldn’t be released until December 13th. However, the decision is not final and no legally binding order has yet been issued.

The allegations are not new

Sonos had previously accused Google of “blatantly and knowingly” copying Sonos technology for use in Google’s Assistant speakers. Should the lawsuit take full effect, the ITC could withdraw numerous Google hardware products such as smart speakers, the Chromecast, and even Google’s Pixel smartphones. There is a threat of a ban on the import and sale of all affected products.

In a statement, a Google spokesperson said, “We don’t use Sonos’ technology, but we compete on the quality of our products and the merits of our ideas. We disagree with this preliminary decision and will advance our arguments in the upcoming review.”

Mark Goodman

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