In August this year, a judge of the United States International Trade Commission (ITC) ruled that Google infringed 5 patents owned by speaker maker Sonos. Google was charged with copying Sonos' patented technology in its smart speakers. Effectively the decision could result in a ban on importing these Google devices into the USA.
Interestingly a former chief judge on the United States Court of Appeals, Paul R. Michel says that this ruling represents a long awaited change in the IP battle between big tech and small to medium innovative businesses.
Patents were designed in part to help incentivise investment in new ideas and technologies. In return for sharing their invention, patent holders are afforded exclusive rights to their creations for a limited time, to provide opportunity to reap rewards.
However, Paul R. Michel says: ‘until recently tech giants have been able to get away with choosing which intellectual property rights they do and do not need to respect; implying that tech giants have been copying the intellectual property of smaller, less powerful firms’.
Paul R. Michel goes even further saying that big tech's lobbying loaded the IP litigation system against smaller business.
'What's unusual here is that Google didn't get away with it.'
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Author: John Pryor Exalt IP