Google loses to Sonos in U.S. patent decision banning imports of some devices

Date:

Infringed Google’s audio patents

Sonos Ltd

SONO -0.10%

Also, US trading agencies are banned from importing Nest audio speakers and some other offending products on Thursday.

The US International Trade Commission

alphabet Ltd

GOOG -0.07%

-Owned search giant Violated 5 Sonos patents It is related to audio synchronization, volume adjustment, and connection to Wi-Fi. The court has decided that Google should stop importing products that use those patents.

Eddie Lazarus, Sonos’ Chief Legal Officer, called this a “total victory” for the company and called on Google to “pay fair royalties for abused technology.”

Google spokesman Jose Castaneda said the tech giant would appeal the decision. “We seek further reviews and continue to protect ourselves from Sonos’ frivolous claims about our partnership and intellectual property,” he said.

Google has redesigned previously infringing products such as Pixel smartphones and Nest speakers, so the ruling has limited impact on Google’s product line. The court scrutinized these changes and ruled that the overhauled products could be shipped without violating the import ban.

Still, the final decision could pressure Google to sign a license agreement with Sonos for its patent portfolio.Intensifying competition for speakers from tech giants like

Amazon.com Ltd

When

Apple Ltd

By squeezing Sonos sales and licensing audio patents to rivals, the company has moved beyond the legacy hardware business.

Analysts estimate that such an agreement with Google would bring Sonos a $ 50 million annual benefit. The audio company reported sales of $ 1.34 billion in the most recent fiscal year.

Sonos shares rose 5.65% in after-hours trading. Alphabet’s share rose 0.3% after business hours.

Patent disputes arose amid rising regulatory pressure on tech giants, as lawmakers, regulators and rivals accused them of using Google, Apple and Amazon. Their financial strength and powerful platform To reduce competition. Sonos testifies that it is leading attacks on these large companies, gaining market share in the Senate, and subsidizing products to gain an even greater advantage.

Sonos has made the ITC case one of the leading efforts to counter the rise of Google’s smart speakers. In that complaint, he said he began work on integrating Google Play Music into Sonos speakers in 2013, providing Google with deep insights into its unique technology. It accused Google of copying the technology and integrating it into Google Home Speakers.

this Won the preliminary judgment of the case Last August. The company also filed complementary patent infringement proceedings in the US District Court for California and later in Texas. These proceedings are pending.

Google argued against Sonos last June for patent infringement in a federal court in California. The proceedings allege that Sonos infringed five Google patents, including those related to audio and search. The proceedings are pending.

Tit for tat over patents has become a regular strategy for tech players fighting to maintain leadership in a category. Apple sued

Samsung Electronics Ltd

In 2011, Blame for copying iPhone.. Since 2017

Qualcomm Ltd

And Apple Engaged in a multi-year battle for semiconductor patents In courts around the world.

Wall Street analysts have largely avoided the potential impact of the Sonos controversy on Alphabet. It generates more than 80% of the revenue from digital advertising and has cash of $ 142 billion.

Write in Trip Mickle Tripp.Mickle@wsj.com

Copyright © 2022 DowJones & Company, Inc. all rights reserved. 87990cbe856818d5eddac44c7b1cdeb8

Google loses to Sonos in U.S. patent decision banning imports of some devices

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