Sonos wins patent case against Google at US ITC

In the ongoing patent showdown with Google, the US International Trade Commission rules in favor of Sonos, allowing their voice-controlled speakers to keep coming in. This marks Google’s fifth defeat against Sonos in different jurisdictions.

Image of Google mobile and hammer.

Sonos won the patent case against Google over wireless speaker technology at the US International Trade Commission (ITC). Administrative law judge Cameron Elliot has declared that Sonos’ voice-controlled speakers can continue to be imported, finding no violation of federal law. The full commission is scheduled to reassess this decision in January 2024. Expressing disappointment with the ITC’s judgement, Google accused Sonos of infringing its Google Assistant patents.

Eddie Lazarus, the Chief Legal Officer of Sonos, said that Google has sued Sonos and lost in five different jurisdictions, which include Canada, the Netherlands, Germany, and France. Next year, the ITC will decide on a complaint against Google while there are also ongoing lawsuits against Google in a California federal court.

Why does it matter?

Following their 2013 collaboration, Sonos and Google have become entangled in patent litigation since 2020. Sonos has accused Google of patent infringements, and in May 2023, the San Francisco jury ruled Google to pay Sonos $32.5 Million over wireless speakers. Additionally, in January 2022, ITC banned Google from importing products that infringe on Sonos’s patents.

The US International Trade Commission’s ruling in favor of Sonos has implications for the future of voice-controlled speaker technology and intellectual property rights. It highlights the ongoing battle over innovation and competition in the tech industry and underscores the importance of fair competition, patent protection, and the consequences of potential patent infringement. Additionally, it could set a precedent for similar cases and influence the strategies of other companies involved in patent disputes.