Sonos Wins Major Patent Battle with Google in ITC


Sonos won an order from the U.S. International Trade Commission, which found that Google infringed five Sonos patents and barred the importation of violating products, including Google’s Nest audio speakers and Pixel phones. This is Google’s first loss in the ITC.

An Orrick IP litigation team joined with Lee, Sullivan, Shea and Smith LLP to lead the effort in the ITC, in close collaboration with Sonos’s in-house legal department.

The ITC found that Google infringed all five asserted patents and rejected all of Google’s invalidity arguments.  As a result, every asserted claim survived and every Google product accused in the complaint was found to infringe.  The ITC’s importation ban covers not only Nest speakers, displays, streaming and connectivity products, but also the Pixel phones that control them.

Rejecting Google’s effort to limit the remedy and its argument that the product ban would be against the public interest, the ITC also imposed a cease-and-desist order and a 100 percent bond on infringing products imported over the next 60 days. The full ITC order affirmed an ITC judge’s preliminary decision in August, which likewise sided with Sonos.

The ITC decision attracted national media attention, including in the New York Times and Wall Street Journal.

We appreciate that the ITC has definitively validated the five Sonos patents at issue in this case and ruled unequivocally that Google infringes all five,” said Sonos Chief Legal Officer Eddie Lazarus. “That is an across-the-board win that is surpassingly rare in patent cases.”

The Orrick team was led by Clem Roberts, Bas de Blank, Alyssa Caridis, and Jordan Coyle, and included Mark Davies, Josh Rosenkranz, Geoffrey Moss, Lillian Mao and Margaret Abernathy, among others.