In a surprising move, Apple has lost a patent-infringement case over Siri in China after a local court ruled against the company on Monday.
The patent-infringement case against Apple was filed by Zhizhen Internet Technology in 2012 for infringing on the company’s voice recognition technology. Beijing’s intermediate court ruled that Apple was infringing on Zhizhen’s patent. Zhizhen case mentions that Apple had infringed on the way the users voices are recognized and analysed on devices including iPhones. Apple stated that Zhizhen’s patent rights over the voice-recognition technology were invalid.
Apple spokeswoman said to Reuters:
“Unfortunately, we were not aware of Zhizhen’s patent before we introduced Siri and we do not believe we are using this patent. While a separate court considers this question, we remain open to reasonable discussions with Zhizhen.“
In 2012, the trail began in Shanghai regarding the Xiao i Robot patent which was similar to the technology used in Apple’s Siri and no verdict was given. Apple sued the patent review committee and the company after its supported the Chinese patent. Zhizhen claimed that Apple had applied its patent in 2004 and got it in 2006 violating the intellectual property rights of the company.
Apple plans to take up the case to the Beijing higher court for challenging the verdict though the present ruling allows Zhizhen to continue the case against the company for violating intellectual rights. Apple mentioned that it was not aware of Zhizhen’s lawsuit on the infringement and might also opt for a out-of-court settlement with the company.
Earlier, Apple was sued by a Taiwanese university and Samsung and others for the use of the voice-recognition technology. Zhizhen declined to comment on the ruling.
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