“Sonos has won the legal battle against Google!” Orak declared.

“I know Google is a United States-based technology company. What’s Sonos?” Felix said.

“Both are United States (US)-based companies. Sonos develops and manufactures audio products. A smart speaker is an example of one such audio product. Smart speakers use the internet. They can be operated with voice commands given by people,” Scorch explained.

“Why were Sonos and Google in a legal battle?” Verum wanted to know.

“Sonos complained to the US International Trade Commission that Google was using five smart speaker designs it had patented. The patents were related to multi-room smart speakers (speakers that are in sync across rooms).” Orak said, “The US International Trade Commission is a government agency. It advises on all matters of trade.

A patent is a legal document. It is a right of ownership of the design or invention. It gives the patent holder the right to use or sell the design/invention. If someone other than the patent holder uses the design without permission, it is a violation.”

“The US International Trade Commission ruled in the favor of Sonos,” Orak added.

“What does this decision mean for Google in the future?” Scorch said.

“Google has two options, to stop using Sonos’ patented designs or to pay Sonos a fee,” Orak answered, “Google has already tweaked a new design for its smart speakers without using Sonos’ patents. The US International Trade Commission had no problems with the design.

However, with the new designs, Google’s smart speaker customers might not have a good experience. Google Nest, the smart home system’s users will need to adjust the speakers in different rooms individually. Earlier, they could be adjusted all at once. Users will also no longer be able to change speakers’ volume through the phone’s volume button.”

“Oh, that’s a bummer,” Verum said.

“Google isn’t happy with the ruling. It plans to seek further review as well,” Orak said.