Google copied Sonos’ multi-zone speaker technology, US import regulator rules

google copied sonos’ multi-zone speaker technology

Photo by Dan Seifert / The Verge

The US International Trade Commission has ruled that Google is in violation of five Sonos patents relating to smart speakers (via The New York Times). The decision affirms a judge’s ruling in August, and could force Google to stop importing products using the infringing technology.

It’s not yet clear whether any specific Google products will necessarily disappear from shelves — in fact, Google spokesperson José Castaneda suggests the company’s customers would not “experience any disruption” as a result of the decision. Bloomberg reported in September that Google may have software workarounds for Sonos’ patents, and Sonos itself admits that Google could possibly “degrade or eliminate product features in a way that circumvents the…

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