The United States International Trade Commission announced on Friday that it will investigate claims made by Alphabet Inc’s Google against Sonos that the home-audio business infringed on Google patents by importing certain audio components.
The agency did not specify which items were allegedly imported in contravention of US trade law. It said that no judgement on the merits of the case had been made. The new allegations add to the former partners’ ongoing patent battle over audio and smart-speaker technology, which includes cases in California, Canada, France, Germany, and the Netherlands. In January, Sonos obtained a trade commission restriction on the importation of certain Google gadgets.
Google filed charges in federal court in California last month, alleging that Sonos’ new voice-assistant technology infringes on multiple Google patents. Sonos has referred to the cases as a “intimidation effort.” The trade commission said it will arrange an evidentiary hearing and set a deadline for finishing its investigation into Google’s fresh complaints within 45 days.