Smart speaker maker Sonos has scored a victory in its patent infringement case against Google: The U.S. International Trade Commission issued an initial determination Friday, asserting that Google had violated five of Sonos' patents, and thereby violated trade laws banning unfair imports.
The ITC is scheduled to issue a full ruling in December. If the preliminary decision is upheld, the commission could issue import bans against a range of Google products, including smart speakers and displays.
"We are pleased the ITC has confirmed Google's blatant infringement of Sonos' patented inventions," said Sonos Chief Legal Officer Eddie Lazarus in a statement. "This decision reaffirms the strength and breadth of our portfolio, marking a promising milestone in our long-term pursuit to defend our innovation against misappropriation by Big Tech monopolies."
Google spokesperson José Castañeda denied that his company was using any Sonos technology in its products. "We disagree with this preliminary ruling and will continue to make our case in the upcoming review process," he said in a statement sent to Protocol.
In addition to petitioning the ITC, Sonos had filed a patent infringement lawsuit against Google at the beginning of last year. Google went on to countersue Sonos, and the two companies have also been fighting with each other in courts in Germany, Canada, France and the Netherlands. In May, a German court found that Google had violated one of the smart speaker maker's patents.
The smart speaker maker's pending patent infringement case against Google is not scheduled to go to trial until November 2022. The ITC's decision could speed up possible settlement negotiations between the two parties.