Court rules against Google in patent infringement lawsuit

On Behalf of | Jan 26, 2022 | Intellectual Property

Many people in Texas own Google devices that are part of a copyright and patent infringement lawsuit. For several years, a company called Sonos has been at odds with Google over technology that was used to make several Google products. Sonos claims that Google appropriated technology that was patented by Sonos.

U.S. International Trade Commission ruling

On Jan. 7, the U.S. International Trade Commission, or ITC, ruled in favor of Sonos in its intellectual property lawsuit against Google. The ITC ruled that Google violated five patents owned by Sonos when Google used intellectual property owned by Sonos without permission. This ruling follows a preliminary decision that was reached by a judge in August who found that Google violated the Tariff Act of 1930.

President Biden could potentially veto the final ruling from the ITC, since the ruling must go through presidential review before it is finalized. If the ruling is not vetoed, a ban on the importation of certain Google devices will be effective in 60 days. However, the products may still be imported if Google is able to alter them to circumvent the patent infringements.

Google has already altered devices

Products that may be impacted by the recent ban include Google’s Chromebooks, Pixel phones, Chromecast streaming devices and Nest speakers. Some of these products may still be legally imported, though, since Google has previously made alterations to remove some of the Sonos technology from its products. For example, volume controls on the Android 12 were already altered due to legal problems involving Sonos.

Google has publically stated that it disagrees with the ITC ruling and will continue to defend itself against “frivolous claims.” The company also promised to make sure its customers had no disruption in their product experiences.