Apple is facing yet another lawsuit over patent infringement, this time for its smart voice assistant Siri. A Chinese AI company known as both Shanghai Zhizhen Intelligent Network Technology and as Xiao-i, has filed a lawsuit, suing Apple for 10 billion yuan (around $1.43 billion) over Apple’s voice assistant technology.
Xiao-i claims infringement of its patent filed in 2004 and granted in 2009. Reuters reports a social media post, where the company asks Apple to “to stop patent infringement on its smart assistant product Siri, including but not limited to stopping the manufacturing, using, promising to sell, selling and importing products.”
Apple In Another Lawsuit
Lawsuits aren’t something new to Apple and the company said it’s looking forward to defending its software in court. Xiao-i originally lodged its complaint in 2012, and back then, Apple filed a request to have the patent invalidated, and the debate went on for eight years.
“Siri does not contain features included in their patent, which relates to games and instant messaging, and we are disappointed Xiao-i Robot has filed another lawsuit,” Apple said in a statement. Additionally, Apple noted that independent appraisers certified by the Chinese court also concluded that Apple doesn’t infringe on Xiao-i’s technology.
At the same time, the eight-year-long discussion finally ended last month when the Chinese Supreme People’s Court ruled in Xiao-‘s favor. This reversed the previous decision ruled by the Beijing High Court. Apple notes that Xiao-i is filing another patent with the latest decision by the Chinese Supreme Court, which once again renews the original patent infringement claim.
Xiao-i Robot said it has filed a formal lawsuit with the Shanghai High People’s Court. For all we know, this too will go on for a while before we hear the final decision. Siri, no doubt, is one of the most used voice assistant and a crucial factor for Apple’s ecosystem. Moreover, the lawsuit comes at a time where US-China tensions are at a peak. It remains to see what the court will decide.
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