Opinions and Editorials

Jan. 13, 2022

TechCrunch: Google’s Loss to Sonos Settles It: Big Tech Has an IP Piracy Problem by Adam Mossoff

The U.S. International Trade Commission ruled on January 6 that Google infringed Sonos’ patented innovations in wireless speaker technology. This may sound like an obscure legal ruling about a complicated fight over intellectual property. But it confirms a problem that threatens America’s innovation economy and its international economic competitiveness.

The problem? Intellectual property theft.

Years ago, Big Tech companies like Google decided that they profit more by stealing smaller companies’ intellectual property than buying or licensing it. Google, Apple, Samsung and others — with cash reserves in the tens, even hundreds, of billions of dollars — do not sweat legal fees, court costs or even damages they might have to pay for this theft. Google has a reported $142 billion in cash in the bank. This is far beyond what most companies make in total annual profits.