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Google vs Sonos patent war rages on after ruling; Google would violate import ban

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Patent infringement cases seem to be part of the daily lives of major tech companies, including Google and Apple. And it so happens that sometimes the big tech giant loses the battle, as was the case in the Google vs Sonos patent infringement lawsuit. Now however, DitRadar Reports that some Google products continue to violate some Sonos patents, and the wireless home speaker company isn’t happy.

The legal battle between Sonos and Google rages on

According to Paul Thurott, the US Customs Service has found Google guilty of violating an import ban previously imposed by the International Trade Commission (ITC). The ban was imposed after tech giant Mountain View continued to infringe on five Sonos patents. U.S. Customs has confirmed that Google circumvented an import ban and continued to import products that infringe patents, Sonos Chief Legal Officer Eddie Lazarus said. He also added that Sonos remains committed to defending their intellectual property, both on behalf of their technology and on behalf of innovation.

In case you’re not aware, this legal war has been going on since 2020. In January 2020, Sonos initially sued Google, claiming key elements of its multi-room technology were stolen after a partnership in 2013.

Then, this year, again in January, the ITC ruled in Sonos’ favor. Then Google faced an import ban on some of Google’s major hardware products, including Nest, Pixel and Chromecast.

Soon after, Google began introducing workarounds to the import ban through software updates for a wide variety of its product. Of course, as you might imagine, some of those software updates were actually quite user-unfriendly.

One of the changes was a deterioration of Google’s smart home devices and speaker volume control, and because of this software update (maybe we can say, downgrade), people had to adjust the individual volumes of all units in a speaker group one by one.

However, despite this effort by Google, the company was still found to be infringing at least two Sonos patents on devices that were still being imported after the ban was in place.

And now Sonos says Google needs even more downgrades. In short, a Sonos representative told Thurott that Google is worsening its customer experience with infringing products, or seeking a fair licensing deal with Sonos if it wants to avoid further import exclusions.

Google’s side also had something to say, and Google spokesman José Castañeda told USA Health Reports

“U.S. Customs has confirmed that Google audio players are not subject to an import ban. This decision temporarily affects a small number of Pixel users who are installing a speaker or display for the first time using the Device Utility app. We will work with them to minimize disruption. Our support teams are on hand to resolve any issues and, if necessary, send replacement devices or offer Google Store credit. Over the years, we’ve worked hard to ensure We hope that our shared customers have a positive experience and are disappointed that Sonos continues to use the legal system in a way that intentionally causes problems for these users.”

It’s still unclear how this latest development will affect Google’s speakers and devices in the home and Google users in general. We’ll have to wait and see what happens.

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