January 20, 2022

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US judge: Google infringes Sonos patents on syncing speakers

The US International Trade Commission has ruled that Google has infringed five Sonos patents. This confirms an earlier decision of this body. It is about Sonos technology to synchronize multiple devices within a network.

Fulgens The New York Times This final ruling by the United States International Trade Commission means that Google may not import products into the United States that infringe Sonos intellectual property rights. This import ban will take effect within 60 days. This is the time it takes for the US president to approve or object to a ruling, although the latter is rare. According to Bloomberg.

This ruling is based on the finding that Google’s actions violated a US law, the Tariff Act of 1930. This law was created to prevent unfair competition, which could specifically target the import of products that infringe US patents or copyrights. There is also a file stop and stopAn injunction has been issued against Google. According to Sonos, a fairly wide range of Google products with audio systems will be affected by the ruling, including the Nest Hub and Nest Mini, as well as Chromecast and Pixel phones.

Opposite, among other things, The Verge Google expects that the ruling will not affect the import and sale of its products. The company is based on the fact that the International Trade Commission has previously solutions from Google for all five patents. The company says that customers will not face any disruptions, as they have 60 days to implement the changes.

Perhaps these are changes specific to the US market. The Nest team’s community manager says there’s already Adjustments are made after the current ruling. These changes include how customers set up their devices and interact specifically with the speaker group functionality. The latter will be more complicated. Owners of related devices can no longer adjust the volume of a group of devices at once; This will soon have to be done for each device separately. It will also not be possible to adjust the volume of a group of devices via the physical volume buttons on the smartphone.

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Sonos has already talked about the possibility that Google may have features of certain products that have been degraded or scrapped in order to circumvent the ban imposed by the International Trade Commission. The company says it is pleased with the outcome of this case and that this victory, in which all patents were ruled in Sonos’ favour, is becoming increasingly rare in patent cases.

Google disagrees with the statement. In theory, the company can appeal to the US Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit. However, Google may also choose to pay royalties to Sonos. In this case, nothing needs to be changed, because Google will then purchase a license to use Sonos technology.