Sonos vs. Google litigation

Sonos vs. Google litigation

Sonos vs. Google litigation

ITC found infringement of five patents

It is possible that Google smart speakers will soon lose some of their functions: their use violates Sonos patents. This has just been established by the United States International Trade Commission (ITC). The corresponding preliminary decision of the US Commercial Court was made last summer. Now the decision is final.

For Sonos, this is a major victory over Google, which in turn has also filed lawsuits against Sonos. However, this does not prevent Sonos products from working with Google services.

The patents in question relate to the functions of volume control, synchronization and setting of playback of devices on the network. While commenting on the USITC decision, Sonos even provided a detailed list of the products that it affects. These are Pixel smartphones - notably the Pixel 3 and 4 series, home devices like the Nest Hub, Nest Mini and Chromecast, and Pixel computers like the PixelBook Go with YouTube Music installed on them.

Most of these products are manufactured in China. They are actually imported into the United States. So the USITC decision could force Google to stop importing models with copyright infringing technologies. The company received "60 days to make changes before the ban goes into effect."

On the other hand, regarding the implications of the ITC decision, Google spokesman José Castaneda said: "We do not expect any impact on our ability to import or sell our products." Indeed, the International Trade Commission has actually already approved Google workarounds for each of the five patents.

Google has already said that their customers "will not experience any disruptions." Not only that, the volume control feature, which disappeared in November in the January 2022 update, seems to be back on some Pixel phones.

It is clear that in any case, the decision of the US International Trade Commission dealt a blow to Google's image. In addition to detours, the company also has direct opportunities to restore the status quo. For example, you can do the same as other companies - just start paying for Sonos technology.

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