ITC rules Google infringes Sonos audio patent, bans import of some devices

The U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC) on Thursday ruled that Google infringed a patent on smart speaker maker Sonos’ home audio technology, barring the import of some of the phones, laptops and speakers Google makes overseas. The ITC issued the injunction after confirming a judge’s conclusion that the devices used Sonos’ patented inventions without permission.

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A Biden administration can veto an import ban on public policy grounds, but that rarely happens. Otherwise, the ban will take effect within 60 days. Sonos’ victory means Google faces an import ban from the ITC for the first time. Sonos filed a complaint with the ITC two years ago, alleging that Google was learning Sonos technology under the guise of a partner, claiming to integrate Google Play Music into Sonos products, but in fact, using the patented ideas for its Home and Chromecast systems And in Pixel phones and laptops. Google filed a lawsuit in district court accusing Sonos of trying to steal credit for Google’s work.

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