ITC rules Google infringes Sonos audio patents

 The U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC) ruled on Thursday 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. The U.S. government can veto an import ban on public policy grounds, but this 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, purporting to integrate Google Play Music into Sonos products, but in fact using the patented ideas for its Home, Chromecast systems, and 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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