News Clips

Nov. 19, 2021

Bloomberg: Sonos Case Against Google Gets Closer Scrutiny by ITC by Sue Decker

A U.S. trade agency is taking a closer look at Sonos Inc.’s claims that Alphabet Inc.’s Google infringes patents for home audio systems and is considering whether to shut some Google smart home devices, phones and laptops out of the U.S. market.

The International Trade Commission said it would review part of a judge’s findings that Google infringed five Sonos patents and cleared product redesigns of any violation. Both companies asked the agency to review aspects of the judge’s findings that went against them. 

Specifically, the commission said it would review whether products accused of infringing two of the patents are “articles that infringe at the time of importation.” The commission said it won’t review remaining issues in the judge’s determination, and will consider a possible remedy, which could mean an import ban. A final decision is scheduled to be issued on Jan. 6.

Sonos said the notice means that the administrative law judge’s finding of a violation will stand.

“We are pleased that the commission will be affirming the ALJ’s ruling that all five Sonos patents at issue are valid and that Google infringes all five of those patents,” the company said. “We also look forward to engaging further with the commission on the details of the remedy to which we are entitled, and pursuing our damages case in District Court.”