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Google loses patent lawsuit to Sonos

Google loses patent lawsuit to Sonos
7 Jan, 2022

Google has lost a lawsuit against it filed by audio products manufacturer Sonos for infringing five patents. The US International Trade Commission (USITC) has also imposed an outright ban on importation of those products. Google will also have to pay 100 per cent value of the infringed product to Sonos, the Commission determined.     

The federal agency in a statement said that Google has violated the Section 337 of the Tariff Act after importing certain audio players and products containing the same that infringe one or more claims of patents.  

Sonos had filed a lawsuit against Google in January 2020, almost two years ago, for reportedly aping the designs of its wireless speakers and thenceforth appealing ITC to ban Google products which have been copied. 

“We appreciate that the ITC has definitively validated the five Sonos patents at issue in this case and ruled unequivocally that Google infringes all five. That is an across the board win that is surpassingly rare in patent cases and underscores the strength of Sonos’ extensive patent portfolio and the hollowness of Google’s denials of copying,” said Eddie Lazarus, Chief Legal Officer at Sonos.  

“It is a possibility that Google will be able to degrade or eliminate product features in a way that circumvents the importation ban that the ITC has imposed. But while Google may sacrifice consumer experience in an attempt to circumvent this importation ban, its products will still infringe many dozens of Sonos patents, its wrongdoing will persist, and the damages owed Sonos will continue to accrue,” he further said.   

Alternatively, Google can —as other companies have already done —pay a fair royalty for the technologies it has misappropriated, Lazarus added.