US Trade Commission discovers Google breached audio patents
The copyrights cover technology-enabling features like synchronous volume adjustment
The US International Trade Commission (USITC) has observed that Google had infringed on audio patents held by Sonos, a domestic developer of audio products. The ruling could impact Google's device imports. But the technology giant played smart and has already submitted redesigns of the controversial technology.
The patents cover technology-enabling features such as synchronous volume adjustment across multiple devices.
The finding vindicates Sonos's claim that Google violated the Smoot-Hawley Tariff Act. The Act prohibits the importation of articles that infringe on a US patent or copyright. The Act provides USITC to make determinations of infringement.
To uphold the claim of infringement, Sonos had to prove that Google's product was both technologically similar to the proprietary designs and that there had been a significant investment by Sonos in those designs.
Finding the requirements satisfactory, USITC ordered a halt to the importation of the products containing those features. It issued a cease-and-desist order against Google. The USITC also imposed a financial penalty against the company.