Apple Sued For Patent Infringement Over Siri

By Joseph Mandour on July 9, 2012

Patent LawyersOrange County – Zhizhen Network Technology, a voice application developer based in Shanghai, recently filed a patent infringement lawsuit in China against Apple and its subsidiary Apple Computer Trading that is based in Shanghai. Zhizhen is accusing Apple of infringing on a patent that is “a type of instant messaging chat bot system” called Xiaoi Bot which it claims Apple is using in its iPhone 4 known as Siri. Zhizhen filed for the “chat bot messaging system” patent on August 13, 2004 and it was approved in Shanghai on February 15, 2006.

Siri can be found on the Apple 4s iPhone and is a platform that acts as the iPhone user’s assistant. The voice activation software is able to make appointments, use maps, search the internet and much more based on the user asking Siri a specific question into the phone. For example, if Siri is asked, “Where is the nearest gas station”, it will use GPS technology to pull up a list of gas stations based on the user’s coordinates. Apple purchased this technology service in 2010 for a reported $120 million dollars.

According to lawsuit documents, Zhizhen attempted to reach a resolution with Apple through mediation. However, according to the documents Apple did not respond to the offer. Therefore on June 21, Zhizhen pursued the lawsuit in a Shanghai court. It has been reported that if Zhizhen prevails in this case, it could very well receive compensation of a sum over $60 million. At this time Zhizhen is not seeking monetary damages.

This is the second lawsuit that Apple was served with in the month of June. These lawsuits come at a time when Apple has recently settled its lawsuit with Proview over the use of the name iPad. Proview had sued Apple for using the name iPad in mainland China when it only had rights to use the name in Taiwan. Apple agreed to pay a reported $60 million to Proview to settle the dispute.

Apple has not yet made a statement responding to Zhizhen’s lawsuit.

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Posted in: Patent Infringement