US agency to hear patent complaint over Google speakers

Agence France-Presse

Posted at Feb 07 2020 07:48 AM

US agency to hear patent complaint over Google speakers 1
The logo of Google is seen in Davos, Switzerland Jan. 20, 2020. Arnd Wiegmann, Reuters/File

SAN FRANCISCO - A US trade panel said Thursday it was investigating a complaint that Google infringed on patented technology of smart speaker maker Sonos.

Sonos, which filed patent lawsuits against Google last month, called on the quasi-judicial US International Trade Commission to block imports of purportedly offending products such as smart speakers.

A Sonos complaint to the ITC accuses Google and its parent company Alphabet of importing "audio players and controllers, components thereof, and products" that contain its patented technology without permission, according to the agency's website.

Google disputed the allegation.

Sonos has made "misleading statements" about technology shared while the companies worked together as partners, Google spokesman Jose Castaneda said in response to an AFP inquiry.

"Our technology and devices were designed independently," Castaneda said.

"We deny their claims vigorously, and will be defending against them."

Google has been faced with increasing regulatory scrutiny, as have other internet titans including antitrust reviews at the US state and federal level.

The ITC said it had not made any decision on the merits of the complaint, which would be assigned to an administrative law judge.

© Agence France-Presse