Google Infringed Five Sonos Patents, U.S. Trade Judge Finds

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A patent dispute between Sonos Inc and Google alleges that Google has infringed five valid Sonos patents related to smart speakers and related technologies.

The chief administrative judge of the U.S. International Trade Commission, Charles Bullock, gave a preliminary ruling in the patent dispute between the two companies but has not said why Google’s sale of the products violates a 1930 federal tariff law, commonly known as Smoot-Hawley, designed to prevent unfair competition.

Sonos, a pioneer in networked audio, has seen its speakers overshadowed in recent years by Google Home and Amazon Echo. The company has made several attempts to prevent Google from importing Home smart speakers, Pixel phones and other products from China.

Sonos commented on the latest ruling, saying it was satisfied with the preliminary decision, which “confirmed Google’s blatant infringement” and suggested that the ruling would help the company protect its technology from alleged misappropriation by larger rivals.

Sonos shares rose 11.4% in after-hours trading.

Friday’s ruling is subject to review by the full ITC, which is scheduled for December 13, according to the commission’s website.

For more information, read the original story in Reuters

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