San Francisco: A US judge has ruled that Google infringed upon the patents of high-tech speaker and audio technology company Sonos.
According to an initial ruling from a US International Trade Commission (ITC) judge, Google infringed on five Sonos patents.
“We are pleased the ITC has confirmed Google’s blatant infringement of Sonos’ patented inventions. This decision re-affirms the strength and breadth of our portfolio, marking a promising milestone in our long-term pursuit to defend our innovation against misappropriation by Big Tech monopolies,” Sonos Chief Legal Officer Eddie Lazarus told TechCrunch on Friday.
In January last year, Sonos sued tech giant Google for allegedly copying its wireless speaker design, urging the International Trade Commission (ITC) to ban Google products like laptops, phones and speakers.
Sonos CEO Patrick Spence testified before the US House antitrust committee that Google “blocked the company from enabling both Amazon’s Alexa assistant and the Google Assistant from being active at the same time”.
Google said in its countersuit that “while Google rarely sues other companies for patent infringement, it must assert its intellectual property rights here”.
“We are disappointed that Sonos has made false claims about our work together and technology,” Google spokesperson Jose Castaneda was quoted as saying.
According to Sonos, starting in 2016 shortly after the first Google Home was launched, it began warning Google about patent infringement but to no avail.
Sonos said it accused Google of infringing on a total of 100 patents.
Google even countersued audio company Sonos for patent infringement, alleging that the tech giant contributed “substantial Google engineering resources” to help Sonos in the past.
Google has always maintained that its technology was developed independently and it was not copied from Sonos.