Siri, did we just take a hit in that voice-recog patent fight?

Yes, Apple, you did, says this Beijing court


Apple has lost the first stage of a patent infringement battle in China over its voice-controlled assistant Siri – after a Beijing court ruled a speech-recognition patent held by the Chinese firm that launched the lawsuit is valid.

The iPhone maker was arguing with both Shanghai-based Zhizhen Network Technology and the State Intellectual Property Office over the validity of a speech-recognition technology patent that Zhizhen is asserting against Apple's Siri voice assistant.

But the court said in a statement (translated by Google) that it had decided that the patent is valid. This means Apple will now have to thwart Zhizhen's attempts to prove Siri ripped off the protected technology.

Zhizhen took Apple to court in the country back in 2012, saying that Siri had infringed on its speech patent. The fruity firm asked the Patent Re-examination Board to take another look at the intellectual property, and after the board said the patent was solid, Apple challenged the decision in court.

Apple was arguing that the patent was invalid for a number of reasons, including the novelty of the claim and lack of necessary technical features. But the Beijing Intermediate Court upheld the board’s decision on validity. The firm said in court that it intends to appeal the decision.

An Apple spokesperson said in an emailed statement that the company doesn’t believe that Siri infringes on the patent.

“Apple created Siri to provide customers with their own personal assistant by using their voice. Unfortunately, we were not aware of Zhizhen's patent before we introduced Siri and we do not believe we are using this patent," they said.

"While a separate court considers this question, we remain open to reasonable discussions with Zhizhen.” ®


Keep Reading

Big Tech to face its Ma Bell moment? US House Dems demand break-up of 'monopolists' Apple, Amazon, Facebook, Google

'These once scrappy, underdog startups have become the kinds of monopolies we last saw in the era of oil barons and railroad tycoons'

Google and Facebook abandon Hong Kong landing of new submarine cable

There be dragons, say US authorities, so first planned US-HK cable darkens its last leg

Google Safari Workaround case inspires campaign to sue Facebook in UK's High Court over Cambridge Analytica app

'Facebook You Owe Us' wants to run a not-quite-class-action-style lawsuit

Google yanks Apple Silicon Chrome port after browser is found to 'crash unexpectedly'

Updated You'll have to run x64 version through the Rosetta emulation layer, or give it access to the Mac Bluetooth radio

At historic Apple, Amazon, Facebook, Google CEOs hearing, congressmen ramble, congresswomen home in on tech market abuse

Analysis We watched six hours of congressional hearings so you didn’t have to

Facebook, Amazon, Apple, Google told: If you could cough up a decade of your internal emails, that'd be great

Oh, and you have four weeks to comply, says US antitrust probe

Australia to force Google and Facebook to pay for news and reveal algorithm changes before they whack web traffic

And is willing to fine them hundreds of millions if they don't play nice

Unexpected risks of using Apple ID: 'Sign in with Apple' will be blocked for Epic Games

Updated Games dev pleads with users to set up a password before they get locked out

Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2020