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Apple sued for allegedly infringing Chinese Siri-like patent

post #1 of 54
Thread Starter 
A Chinese software firm hit Apple with a patent infringement suit for allegedly violating its 2006 voice-recognizing assistant patent when the Cupertino-based company integrated Siri technology into the iPhone 4S.

The new dispute adds to the growing number of Chinese court claims filed against Apple and follows a separate suit that alleges the Mac maker violated a trademark for the Snow Leopard moniker as well as the recent $60 million settlement paid out to defunct monitor maker Proview.

According to a report from M.I.C. Gadget, the new lawsuit was first filed on June 26 by Shanghai-based Zhizhen Network Technology and claims Apple's Siri voice assistant infringes on the ?ZL200410053749.9″ patent for ?a type of instant messaging chat bot system? dubbed Xiaoi Bot. The internet-driven software has reportedly been implemented in China by Microsoft's MSN, Yahoo Messenger, and Shanghai Expo?s Dr Haibao among others.

While the Xiaoi Bot patent was originally filed for in 2004 with a subsequent approval in 2006, Zhi Zhen only recently revealed the Siri-like technology in February and is apparently an Android-only asset as it was launched in Lenovo's Android 4.0 Smart TV.

In comparison, Apple released Siri to the Chinese market in January and highlighted the system's Chinese language support at WWDC last month.

Xiaoi Bot Timeline
Xiaoi Bot's timeline shows a launch date of February 2012, one month following Siri's Chinese debut. | Source: Xiaoi webpage


The video below shows the Xiaoi Bot software running on an Android handset with the app bearing a striking resemblance to Siri's UI.



Zhi Zhen's reportedly attempted to contact Apple for mediation in May but received no response. A Chinese court is said to holding pre-trial negotiations though no official statements have been released.
post #2 of 54

Prior art: the Mac has had voice commands since 1984.

post #3 of 54
Wow Really?@#@$!
Where do these patent troll slugs come from?
post #4 of 54

Woooooww, Chinese companies need to pack their bags and go. Stop suing Apple! Woooowww.

 

 


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post #5 of 54
Sounds like another Chinese company needs their broken windows fixed....

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post #6 of 54
Did a little digging found out that siri started at sri as a project funded by darpa in 2003, the company siri was started in 2007 and there voice assistant was patented then, apple bought siri out in April 2010. The original iphone app was released in 2009 to the iOS ap store and ceased to function October 11, 2011, and was replaced by the integrated siri app from apple when the iPhone 4s was announced.

This patent troll has no prior right to this idea. Apple can prove it without a doubt. The above info is available on the darpa website and from sri's website.
post #7 of 54

"...implemented in China by Microsoft's MSN"

 

Uh huh. "You can only judge the distance by the company you keep..."

 

Apple played the game with large investments in China during the iPad trademark scam. If the Chinese government allows a never ending stream of cash grabs, I wonder if Apple will reevaluate doing so. A reliable government stays bought.

post #8 of 54

I'm waiting for the same people who always slam Apple for suing too much, to come and defend this Chinese company's suit against Apple, regardless of the merits of the case or not.

 

In their wacky minds, everything Apple does = bad, but everything anybody else does against Apple = good.

 

Anyway, Apple has plenty of cash and lawyers. It's expected that a huge company like Apple will get sued on a regular basis from all sorts of unsavory characters and shady people looking for a quick buck. And I still believe, like I always have, that Apple should sue even more companies, in order to protect their IP. 

post #9 of 54
Quote:
Originally Posted by "Apple 
[" url="/t/151116/apple-sued-for-allegedly-infringing-chinese-siri-like-patent#post_2141217"]
It's expected that a huge company like Apple will get sued on a regular basis from all sorts of unsavory characters and shady people looking for a quick buck. And I still believe, like I always have, that Apple should sue even more companies, in order to protect their IP. 

And it works so well in China. The $60 million dinner bell has been rung. Come get some.

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post #10 of 54

It looks like the Chinese are way ahead of Apple in developing Siri-like technology.

post #11 of 54

So wait, they design their "Siri" UI just like Apple's and then have the nerve to sue Apple for infringement?!?

 

At the very least they could have come up with their own UI/design before doing this. 

 

They copied Apples implementation down to the circling around the microphone icon and then turn around and sue Apple for copying. Wow....

post #12 of 54
Sorry to say this but Apple is now going to have to defend itself against a flood of Chinese companies trying to cash in because the Chinese government is going to support their countrymen over some American company raking in the money. The precedent was set with the payoff of proview scum.

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post #13 of 54
Quote:
Originally Posted by Pujones1 View Post

Sorry to say this but Apple is now going to have to defend itself against a flood of Chinese companies trying to cash in because the Chinese government is going to support their countrymen over some American company raking in the money. The precedent was set with the payoff of preview scum.

100% true and absolutely disgusting. We need a worldwide standard for intellectual property.
post #14 of 54
"a type of instant messaging chat bot system"
-sounds like a Turing system. How could they patent a Turing system?
-does not sound much like Siri

*having not yet read the patent

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post #15 of 54
Quote:
Originally Posted by Suddenly Newton View Post

And it works so well in China. The $60 million dinner bell has been rung. Come get some.

I agree. Apple hopefully are looking into alternative manufacturing locations for the future just in case this gets out of hand.
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post #16 of 54
Quote:
Originally Posted by digitalclips View Post


I agree. Apple hopefully are looking into alternative manufacturing locations for the future just in case this gets out of hand.

 

Why? These little suits are nothing compared to the massive labour force in China to which Apple has access. 

 

These Chinese lawsuits cost Apple a few million here, a few million there. Meanwhile, thanks in part (and no small part) to the manufacturing power of China, Apple is able to make billions. 

post #17 of 54

why? coz there's money to be had.

post #18 of 54

I wonder...  if we look, will we find this company listed as a subsidiary of Proview?!  Although we are talking about China, so Apple's lawyers should ask if this was just a pirated version of Siri?!

/

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post #19 of 54
Quote:
Originally Posted by Quadra 610 View Post

Why? These little suits are nothing compared to the massive labour force in China to which Apple has access. 

These Chinese lawsuits cost Apple a few million here, a few million there. Meanwhile, thanks in part (and no small part) to the manufacturing power of China, Apple is able to make billions. 

Why? It's called leverage. Better to not be too beholden to anyone or anyplace 1wink.gif
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post #20 of 54

Another day, another jingoistic thread, at AppleInsider.

post #21 of 54
Quote:
Originally Posted by logandigges View Post

Woooooww, Chinese companies need to pack their bags and go. Stop suing Apple! Woooowww.

 

If Apple is stealing their tech, they are perfectly justified in suing them.  

post #22 of 54

I love that idea when pissed off people losing business from Apple going to Brazil start using their communistic party secretaries to create non-existen situations and front-end comapnies. I bet they will move to generate "history" of that company "productions" and imaginary patent just to force Apple bringing back all business to China.

 

Has anybody asked what stands behind those accusations and lawsuits? Ask in China, but not actual "companies". The government is better place to ask about that.

post #23 of 54

Yea right. Just like few fabricated athletes suddenly outperform those best for years... and then they disappear not showing in top competition.

 

Same goes for those patents and companies behind Apple's (and not only) innovations. What a coincidence.

post #24 of 54
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mechanic View Post

Did a little digging found out that siri started at sri as a project funded by darpa in 2003, the company siri was started in 2007 and there voice assistant was patented then, apple bought siri out in April 2010. The original iphone app was released in 2009 to the iOS ap store and ceased to function October 11, 2011, and was replaced by the integrated siri app from apple when the iPhone 4s was announced.
This patent troll has no prior right to this idea. Apple can prove it without a doubt. The above info is available on the darpa website and from sri's website.

 

 

It is because the plot was designed to disrupt Apple's decisions (any) that are not convenient to those who really run China (call it: "business").

post #25 of 54
There's really no point in commenting on this.

I doubt if anyone here knows Chinese as well as understands the technical issues surrounding patents well enough to have a reasonable comment.

It's really simple. If they have a valid patent and Apple infringed it, Apple should pay. If they don't have a valid patent, then Apple is being unjustly sued.

I would like to see a 'loser pays' system.
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post #26 of 54
Quote:
Originally Posted by shrfu31 View Post

So wait, they design their "Siri" UI just like Apple's and then have the nerve to sue Apple for infringement?!?

 

At the very least they could have come up with their own UI/design before doing this. 

 

They copied Apples implementation down to the circling around the microphone icon and then turn around and sue Apple for copying. Wow....

 

Did you read the article properly? That Chinese company got their voice-recognizing assistant patent in 2006. It was likely that Apple copied from the Chinese.

The reading skills of Americans are so low that no wonder they have to copy foreign technologies.

post #27 of 54
Quote:
Originally Posted by digitalclips View Post

I agree. Apple hopefully are looking into alternative manufacturing locations for the future just in case this gets out of hand.

Apple has no choice nor does any other consumer electronics company at the moment.

China accounts for approximately 23% of the world's deposits of rare earth metals but controls almost 97% of rare earth deposits around the world through clever planning. The seventeen said rare earth metals include; cerium, dysprosium, europium, gadolinium, holmium, lanthanum, lutetium, neodymium, praseodymium, scandium, terbium, thulium, ytterbium, Specifically, Inner Mongolia Baotou Steel Rare-Earth (Group) controls about 60% of China's prodigious production of rare earth metals due to consolidation of corporate control by the Chinese government. (1)

"... Fortunately, Japanese scientists discovered large deposits of rare earth metals near Hawaii in 2011. "The deposits have a heavy concentration of rare earths. Just one sq km (0.4 sq mile) of deposits will be able to provide one-fifth of the current global annual consumption," Yasuhiro Kato, an associate professor of earth science at the University of Tokyo, said..." (2)

"... The discovery, made by a team led by Kato and including researchers from the Japan Agency for Marine-Earth Science and Technology, could have important implications for the production of materials requiring "rare earths" such as tantalum and yttrium. China has the largest land-based deposits of the crucial metals, and produces about 97% of the global supply. But it announced in December that it was slashing exports of the materials – leading to fears of a shortage or of much higher prices for products that use them..." (2)

"... The new research, published on Monday in the online version of the journal Nature Geoscience, found the minerals in sea mud extracted from depths of 3,500 to 6,000 metres below the ocean surface at 78 locations. One-third of the sites yielded rich contents of rare earths and the metal yttrium, Kato said. The deposits are in international waters in an area stretching east and west of Hawaii, as well as east of Tahiti in French Polynesia, he said. He estimated rare earths contained in the deposits amounted to 80bn to 100bn tonnes – compared to global reserves currently confirmed by the US Geological Survey of just 110m tonnes that have been found mainly in China, Russia and other former Soviet Union countries, and the US..." (2)

1. Jason Mick. Published 21 October 2011. China Cuts Off World's Rare Earth Metal Supply. Daily Tech. Retrieved 5 July 2012.
2. Charles Arthur. Published 4 July 2011. Japan discovers 'rare earth' minerals used for iPads. The Guardian. Retrieved 5 July 2012.
post #28 of 54
Quote:
Originally Posted by "Apple 
[" url="/t/151116/apple-sued-for-allegedly-infringing-chinese-siri-like-patent#post_2141217"]I'm waiting for the same people who always slam Apple for suing too much, to come and defend this Chinese company's suit against Apple, regardless of the merits of the case or not.

In their wacky minds, everything Apple does = bad, but everything anybody else does against Apple = good.

Anyway, Apple has plenty of cash and lawyers. It's expected that a huge company like Apple will get sued on a regular basis from all sorts of unsavory characters and shady people looking for a quick buck. And I still believe, like I always have, that Apple should sue even more companies, in order to protect their IP. 

In other words it is just like you saying everything apple does = good and anything anyone else does = bad.....
post #29 of 54
Quote:
Originally Posted by sranger View Post


In other words it is just like you saying everything apple does = good and anything anyone else does = bad.....

That's not true at all. Compared to some of the rabid Apple haters, Fandroids, imposters and other evil people who have no business being on this forum, I might appear to be extremely pro-Apple, but that doesn't mean that I never criticize anything that Apple does.

 

Just yesterday, when commenting on the retarded and stupid prediction that the mini-iPad would use iPhone 3g display technology, I pointed out that I would be the first person to slam Apple for that retarded choice, if it turned out to be true. That would truly be a stupid decision and I would advise people not to buy it, because TN displays on tablets are junk. It wouldn't matter if it's Apple or not.

post #30 of 54
Quote:
Originally Posted by jragosta View Post


I would like to see a 'loser pays' system.

 

 

They do that in England.  There are advantages and disadvantages to both systems.

post #31 of 54
Ha Ha. Apple, pot meet kettle. Apples deep pockets mean zero in China and they are going to pay. This is a blatant rip off and now they are called on the carpet. If some po-dunk, going out of business company can sue over a name and get $60 million, this company is going to rape Apple. Brings a small tear knowing Apples karma is biting them. The final thing Steve Jobs left Apple, crap karma. You can be the most successful person in the world but if you are a walking jerk, karma will get you, and it did and now it is biting again.
post #32 of 54
Quote:
Originally Posted by GadgetCanada View Post

Apple should have fought harder on the Proview case. Now the jackals are coming out of the woodwork looking for scraps.

That fight would have easily cost them $60 million in costs if not much more, that's why they settled.

These other cases could be a lot easier and cheaper to resolve. Patents are a 'devil in the details' kind of IP and frankly how is an IM bot similar to what Siri does. By the details in the patent it might not even be close. And this trademark case seems to be one of "we call our company Snow Leopard so you can't do that cause someone we make software". That kind of vagueness is almost never allowed in trademarks. And even that Mac OS Snow Leopard came out like 4 years ago and they said nothing, well it seems they didn't care before so why let them now. Apple will just call it Mac OS 10.6 in China before they pay a penny on that one
Edited by charlituna - 7/5/12 at 6:57pm

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post #33 of 54
Quote:
Originally Posted by charlituna View Post

And even that Mac OS Snow Leopard came out like 4 years ago and they said nothing, well it seems they didn't care before so why let them now. Apple will just call it Mac OS 10.6 in China before they pay a penny on that one

 

Yeah, what does Apple care about some stupid Chinese company suing over the Snow Leopard name? Isn't Snow Leopard dead? Do they even still sell Snow Leopard?

 

Some of these Chinese lawsuits are getting pretty damn stupid, and Apple shouldn't give a single penny to any of these moneygrubbing thieves. 

post #34 of 54
Quote:
Originally Posted by Hellacool View Post

Ha Ha. Apple, pot meet kettle. Apples deep pockets mean zero in China and they are going to pay. This is a blatant rip off and now they are called on the carpet. If some po-dunk, going out of business company can sue over a name and get $60 million, this company is going to rape Apple. Brings a small tear knowing Apples karma is biting them. The final thing Steve Jobs left Apple, crap karma. You can be the most successful person in the world but if you are a walking jerk, karma will get you, and it did and now it is biting again.

Lol if you think Apple is the one blatantly stealing. The lawsuit is regarding the bot-like software, not the latest incarnation. The validity of the patent remains to be determined, but SIRI began development before 2004 and likely has prior art.

The UI shown is the blatant ripoff of Apple; that debuted after Siri, and clearly uses the EXACT SAME MICROPHONE icon, even with the spinning light. Or do you think Apple lifted it? That they don't have UI designers?

In addition. Apple bought Siri, so your attempt to paint Apple as a thief is null. The patent is likely invalid or, at worst it is a case of concurrent invention, and we'll see who has prior art.

It isn't like this company released a successful product and Apple had to race to the copy machine. It looks more like this company recently released a photocopy of Siri and now has the audacity to sue over an old likely unrelated patent, and is attempting to act like they had the UI first.
post #35 of 54
Quote:
Originally Posted by peter236 View Post

Did you read the article properly? That Chinese company got their voice-recognizing assistant patent in 2006. It was likely that Apple copied from the Chinese.
The reading skills of Americans are so low that no wonder they have to copy foreign technologies.

You think Apple copied from the Chinese?

The irony.

Do you have reading comprehension? It clearly says the Siri like (copied) UI was a recent addition.
post #36 of 54
Quote:
Originally Posted by peter236 View Post

The reading skills of Americans are so low that no wonder they have to copy foreign technologies.

 

As if Apple needs to copy from any no-talent foreigners. The entire world would still be in the dark ages, technology-wise, if it weren't for American computer companies.

post #37 of 54
Apple will be filing a counter suit in the next few days or weeks..
post #38 of 54
Quote:
Originally Posted by peter236 View Post

Did you read the article properly? That Chinese company got their voice-recognizing assistant patent in 2006. It was likely that Apple copied from the Chinese.
The reading skills of Americans are so low that no wonder they have to copy foreign technologies.

Yes.. Because chatbots did not exist before this Chinese company invented it in 2006.
post #39 of 54
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mechanic View Post

Did a little digging found out that siri started at sri as a project funded by darpa in 2003, the company siri was started in 2007 and there voice assistant was patented then, apple bought siri out in April 2010. The original iphone app was released in 2009 to the iOS ap store and ceased to function October 11, 2011, and was replaced by the integrated siri app from apple when the iPhone 4s was announced.
This patent troll has no prior right to this idea. Apple can prove it without a doubt. The above info is available on the darpa website and from sri's website.

yes and it's rather sad that the tech media punditry has failed to mention those key points.
post #40 of 54
Quote:
Originally Posted by Wurm5150 View Post


Yes.. Because chatbots did not exist before this Chinese company invented it in 2006.

 

No, no, you are forgetting that everything was invented in China.

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