Chinese Court Rules Against Apple in Siri-Related Patent Dispute

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Apple today faced a setback in it efforts to overturn a speech recognition patent held by Shanghai-based Zhizhen Internet Technology. According to Reuters, the Beijing First Intermediate Court ruled in favor of Zhizhen, upholding the validity of the patent and paving the way for Zhizhen's existing infringement case against Apple to continue.

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Apple said in a statement that it would appeal this decision with the Beijing Higher People's Court.

"Apple believes deeply in protecting innovation, and we take intellectual property rights very seriously," said a spokesman.

"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.

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

This patent is an integral part of an intellectual property infringement lawsuit first filed by Zhizhen against Apple in 2012. Zhizhen claims that Apple's Siri voice assistant infringes upon patents that cover its own Xiaoi Robot voice assistant system for messaging clients.

The Xiaoi bot originated as a chat bot for MSN and similar networks, but has moved on to a number of platforms, including Android and iOS [App Store]. It has evolved to bear a striking similarity to Siri.

Zhizhen first introduced the Xiaoi Robot in 2003, filed for the related voice recognition patent in 2004, and was awarded rights to the technology in 2006.

Top Rated Comments

furi0usbee Avatar
86 months ago
The reliable, honorable, and ever-fair Chinese Court.
Score: 7 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Brian Y Avatar
86 months ago
Chinese company vs American company in a Chinese court. There is only one possible outcome.
Score: 5 Votes (Like | Disagree)
ShinySteelRobot Avatar
86 months ago
There is a long history of Chinese companies violating foreign-held trademarks within China. Apple, Ferarri, Burberry, and many other companies have had to pay millions of dollars to Chinese companies because someone else copied their trademarked products in China before the "real" company was able to trademark them in China.

For example, Tesla Motors of America is in hot water right now because somebody in China sniped the "Tesla" trademark in the Chinese Trademark Office before the American company realized it should register in China.

We see this type of thing all the time in the Western news media. This isn't racist, it's just foreigners frustrated at how business and law is conducted in China. Western companies are routinely extorted/trolled by Chinese companies with the support of the Chinese courts.

Further reading:

http://www.ibtimes.com/tesla-motors-tsla-trademark-problem-china-what-multinational-companies-can-learn-tesla-about-1401973
Score: 4 Votes (Like | Disagree)
beltzak Avatar
86 months ago
Same could be apply to the USA courts or the Obama administration that choose to over rule what the courts said.

By the way, seems that the patent was granted in 2006 so for now seems that the Chinase company has all the reasons to go against Apple. Or is it ok when Apple steals but not ok when someone steals from Apple?
Score: 4 Votes (Like | Disagree)
tongxinshe Avatar
86 months ago

Chinese company vs American company in a Chinese court. There is only one possible outcome.

There had been a lot more previous examples in which US companies were ruled in favor in China, go do real investigation before opening wide your mouth!

Instead, on the other hand, quite a lot of small countries’ companies were not treated fairly in the US court, mostly just because they are not familiar with the extremely tricky legal systems in the US, which is way beyond the original purpose of establishing legal systems, especially for international fairs.
Score: 3 Votes (Like | Disagree)
smader12 Avatar
86 months ago
Interesting they say Apple created Siri, Apple bought Siri, it did not create it.
Score: 3 Votes (Like | Disagree)

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