Google infringed on Sonos' patent
Google infringed on Sonos' patent

The United States International Trade Commission has ruled that Google has infringed on five Sonos patents relating to smart speakers.

The ruling confirmed an August judge's ruling that it could theoretically force Google to stop importing products with illegal technology.

However, it is not clear if some Google products can fall off the shelf. It seems unlikely that this will happen at this point.

A spokesperson for the search giant explained how the International Trade Commission had approved the company's solutions for each of the five patents. "We don't expect any impact on our ability to import or sell products," he said.

The company said, “The ITC filing set out five different exemptions for redesigning our products, one for each patent. Customers will not be bothered by the ITC decision and it will take 60 days before the ban begins. To implement the changes.”

It looks like Google's solution already exists, and there are other options.

A report released in November last year showed that Android 12 had turned off Chromecast's volume controls. It is believed that someone was an employee of the company and removed the position for legal reasons.

One of the five infringing patents specifically relates to scaling a device over a local area network.

But as part of the January 2022 update, the volume control feature is back on some Pixel phones.

The International Trade Center (ITC) filing states that it agreed to redesign a specific patent that was submitted to Google for a decision.

Sonos wins patent infringement against Google

The other two patents involve synchronizing many devices in the network. Another patent related to the installation of operating devices for network communications.

The search giant has posted a blog about upcoming changes to its speaker lineup. She explained that some users now need to download a special application to configure certain devices on the network. In addition, you can no longer adjust the volume of all speakers.

The list of Sonos products affected by the decision includes home appliances like Pixel phones, Nest Hub, Nest Mini and Chromecast, as well as Pixel computers like the PixelBook Go, which includes the YouTube Music app.

The ruling appears broader as it says it affects speakers and connected devices that can control those devices and that contain offending technology.

Google will likely still be able to import and sell all of these devices without interruption, although Sonos advises that doing so could make these devices worse.

"Google should reduce or eliminate product functionality by bypassing the ITC import ban," Sonos said.

The decision revealed that the search giant had copied technology from Sonos, damaging the image of Google's PC company, which is expanding into smart homes.

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