Against Sonos, Google would have liked to play the smartest and risk regretting it

Google seems to have cheated Sonos a little too much. Sentenced for patent infringement, the firm would also have compromised itself by violating an import ban ordered by the International Trade Commission.

A Sonos speaker for illustration // Source: Frandroid

The battle between Google and Sonos continues to rage several months after American justice ruled in favor of the connected speaker manufacturer. Google was then found guilty of having wrongly used major patents belonging to Sonos, which the firm had become aware of during a partnership concluded between the two groups in 2013. Following this court decision, rendered in last January, Google had been forced to simply and simply abandon certain functionalities (in particular in connection with the multiroom) on its own connected speakers.

This decision also provided for a ban on the importation into the United States of certain products important to Google, including Nests, Pixels and even Chromecasts. It is on this point that Sonos returns to the charge, because Google has obviously not respected this ban ordered by the International Trade Commission (ITC)… and in this case, the American customs realized it.

Sonos denounces, Google defends itself

Today, the US Customs Service publicly declared that Google violated the International Trade Commission’s import ban after finding that many of its products violated five core Sonos patents in the area of home audio “, a statement Eddie Lazarus, at the legal department of Sonos, quoted by Thurrott.

US Customs has confirmed that Google is ignoring the import ban and continuing to import products in violation of the ban. This discovery is yet another example that Google continues to abuse our intellectual property and act in complete disregard of the law. “, he continues.

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Credit: Kai Wenzel / Unsplash

To avoid new import bans, Google must further downgrade the experience for its customers, or strike a fair licensing deal with Sonos “Explains another Sonos spokesperson contacted by Thurrott. For its part, Google defends itself by ensuring that its audio products are not subject to the import ban. Quite robustly, the firm also deplores that Sonos is forcing its hand to curb certain features of its products through legal channels.

US Customs has confirmed that Google audio devices are not subject to an import ban. (…) Over the years, we have worked hard to ensure that our customers have a positive experience and we are disappointed that Sonos continues to use the legal system in a way that deliberately creates problems for these users. “says Google.

One thing is clear, the standoff between the two groups has not finished harming users of the Google products concerned.


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