In a ruling, a U.S. trade judge found that Alphabet Inc’s Google had infringed on five of Sonos Inc’s patents revolving around smart speakers and related technology.
The decision has the potential to lead to an import ban.
The ruling by Charles Bullock, the chief administrative law judge of the U.S. International Trade Commission did not explain why Google’s sale of the products violated a 1930 federal tariff law, commonly known as Smoot-Hawley, which is designed to prevent unfair competition.
Sonos has been trying to block Google from importing Home smart speakers, Pixel phones and other products from China.
Google did not immediately respond to requests for comments.
Saying it was pleased with the preliminary ruling, Sonos said it “confirmed Google’s blatant infringement” and furthered its efforts to defend its technology against alleged misappropriation by larger rivals.
With the news reaching the market, Sonos’ shares went up by 11.4% in after-hours trading.
The ruling is subject to review by the full ITC, scheduled for December 13.
According to regulatory filings, the ITC case is part of a series of litigation between the two companies across several countries including the US, Germany and France.