Apple sued for allegedly infringing Chinese Siri-like patent

Posted:
in General Discussion edited January 2014
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.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 54


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

  • Reply 2 of 54
    mechanicmechanic Posts: 805member
    Wow [email protected]#@$!
    Where do these patent troll slugs come from?
  • Reply 3 of 54
    logandiggeslogandigges Posts: 399member


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

  • Reply 4 of 54
    suddenly newtonsuddenly newton Posts: 13,739member
    Sounds like another Chinese company needs their broken windows fixed....
  • Reply 5 of 54
    mechanicmechanic Posts: 805member
    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.
  • Reply 6 of 54
    jollypauljollypaul Posts: 328member


    "...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.

  • Reply 7 of 54
    apple ][apple ][ Posts: 8,428member


    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. 

  • Reply 8 of 54
    suddenly newtonsuddenly newton Posts: 13,739member
    "Apple wrote:
    [" 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.
  • Reply 9 of 54
    peter236peter236 Posts: 254member


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

  • Reply 10 of 54
    shrfu31shrfu31 Posts: 8member


    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....

  • Reply 11 of 54


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

  • Reply 12 of 54
    pujones1pujones1 Posts: 148member
    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.
  • Reply 13 of 54
    tallest skiltallest skil Posts: 43,399member
    pujones1 wrote: »
    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.
  • Reply 14 of 54
    tulkastulkas Posts: 3,742member
    "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
  • Reply 15 of 54
    MacProMacPro Posts: 18,141member
    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.
  • Reply 16 of 54
    quadra 610quadra 610 Posts: 6,743member

    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. 

  • Reply 17 of 54
    jcallowsjcallows Posts: 142member


    why? coz there's money to be had.

  • Reply 18 of 54
    rot'napplerot'napple Posts: 1,839member


    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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  • Reply 19 of 54
    MacProMacPro Posts: 18,141member
    quadra 610 wrote: »
    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 ;)
  • Reply 20 of 54
    mattbookairmattbookair Posts: 161member


    Another day, another jingoistic thread, at AppleInsider.

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