A legal battle has been going on between Google and Sonos since 2020, Sonos claims that Google stole and used five of its patents.
Recently, the US International Trade Commission ruled that Google actually infringed all five of the patents mentioned by Sonos. The court also ruled that Google is prohibited from importing products that infringe these patents. These products include Chromecast, Google Home speakers, Pixel phones, and Pixelbook computers (most of which are made in China before being imported to the US).
It is known that the import ban will take effect after 60 days, but this case must be reviewed by the president. During that time, Google may adopt workarounds to avoid an import ban.
Google told the New York Times that it disagreed with the ruling but would work to prevent any disruptions related to the use, sale and import of the affected products.
Google spokesman José Castaneda said that the International Trade Commission had approved Google’s alternatives to each of the five patents.
Several patents relate to the use of smartphone volume buttons to control the volume of connected devices such as speakers and other devices. In fact, Google removed this ability in the Android 12 beta, which one Google employee explained was due to a “legal issue,” forcing consumers to use the on-screen interface instead.
Two of the other patents are about synchronizing multiple devices over a network. Google will continue to remove offending features, explaining that users will need to download a special app to set up some devices to connect to the network and won’t be able to adjust the volume of an entire group of speakers at once. time again.
Thus, instead of choosing to pay royalties to Sonos to retain features for users, it seems that Google will choose to remove all infringing features and users will suffer.
Meanwhile, Sonos said in a statement that Google was found guilty of infringing on all five patents. “It was an all-out victory, which is surprising and rare in patent lawsuits,‘ said a representative.