Chinese company files lawsuit claiming Apple copied Siri personal assistant

“Apple appeared in a Shanghai court on Wednesday, accused by a Chinese firm of copying software used for the ‘Siri’ personal assistant on its hugely popular iPhones,” Amanda Wang reports for Agence France-Presse.

“Shanghai’s Zhizhen Network Technology Co. claims Apple infringed its patent for voice recognition software, and the two companies were summoned to present evidence at a pre-trial hearing, representatives of the Chinese firm said,” Wang reports. “The legal challenge comes after Apple last year paid $60 million to Chinese computer maker Shenzhen Proview Technology to settle a long-running dispute over the ‘iPad’ trademark, whose ownership was claimed by both companies.”

Wang reports, “Zhizhen says it patented its ‘Xiao i Robot’ software in 2004, while Apple’s Siri, which made its debut with the release of the iPhone 4S in 2011, was first developed in 2007… ‘The company will ask Apple to stop manufacturing and selling products using its patent rights, once Apple’s infringement is confirmed,’ Si Weijiang, a lawyer representing Zhizhen, told AFP. ‘We don’t exclude the possibility of demanding compensation in the future,’ he said.”

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MacDailyNews Take: OFTLOJ.

38 Comments

  1. OMG. China wants Apple, even if it has to sue it bit by bit. If you look at the video, the clone siri uses the siri microphone and its level indicator.

    Its good if we copy. Then we should sue you for copying us…. when we copied, er invented it previously…. er…… before you did.

    I wonder if China has purchased Eastern Texas (under the table) that is. ???

  2. The IDEA of talking to a computer was around a long time before this company. I severely doubt their IMPLEMENTATION is the same as and precedes Apple’s. Another “we’ll have some – uh – wires, inside a metal – uh – beige box” type patent.

    1. Not sure but I thought it was a spin off of a government backed project and Apple bought the rights from the group that developed it from their. So, Siri, did not make its debut with the release of the iPhone 4S in 2011. It was developed many years earlier. It is hard to believe that these clowns can get this heard even in a court in China.

    2. Siri is a spin-out from the SRI International Artificial Intelligence Center, and is an offshoot of the DARPA-funded CALO project.
      Siri’s primary technical areas focus on a Conversational Interface, Personal Context Awareness, and Service Delegation.
      Siri’s speech recognition engine is thought to be provided by Nuance Communications, a speech technology company, although this has not been officially acknowledged by either Apple or Nuance.

      So Siri might use Nuances speech recognition engine but Siri itself is wholly Owned by Apple because it bought the company.

      1. Interesting to note that the DARPA CALO project that Siri came from predates this idiot company by a year on there patent. The CALO was started in 2003. The article about Siri being Developed in 2007 is wrong. Siri the company was formed by former members of the SRI international, who was contracted by DARPA in 2003 to develop CALO which eventually became Siri.

  3. China …..the country that has no shame ..no honor …no integrity. China …the country of corruption and counterfeit. China …the country known over the world as a thief and a lier. Confucius wouldn’t recognize the people who reside there.

    1. Yes so much different than the other country of the company with the lawsuit. It HAS violated the white flag… It HAS used nuclear weapons on civilian populations… it HAS invaded other countries for for, aw heck it doesn’t need a real reason… it HAS supplanted democratically elected foreign governments to replace them with ones favorable to them.

      Benjamin Franklin wouldn’t recognize the people who live there.

        1. That’s a good point except I was trying to point out unique items. Both China and the US have had slavery during their history.

          That said, I guess you could critique my post further by saying that China has supplanted other governments. Tibet comes to mind.

          The point is I am always bemused when the mud slinging is only one way. I have not much appreciation for either sides. The only thing I’ve heard that makes sense in all this brouhahaha is that Apple is establishing a level of respect for workers that China is not accustomed to. The reaction of the Chinese government to go after Apple is more than likely an attempt for the government to maintain it’s control over the people.

          The same sort of thing happened when slavery was abolished, women got the vote and so on. Heck I even remember someone telling me that computers were just a fad. Just another bump on the wheel of progress.

            1. Well that could be debatable, a lot of them came over to build the railroad and decided to stay here and become Canadians. I guess it was more a dream invasion than a war one.

  4. How short people’s memories are!!!!

    Apple publicly demonstrated Casper in August 1993! A variation of Casper (sometimes more of it, sometimes less of it) has been included in *every* Mac introduced since then.

    Casper was virtually accent independent. It was demonstrated by Apple on stage with several people with different accents from around the world. Casper did command the Mac. Casper did interact with the user.

    Siri’s voice recognition is better than Casper’s was, but the big difference is that Casper’s compute engine was in the local Mac. Siri’s main compute engine is in the server.

    Unless someone has a patent that predates 1993 they should ALL sit down and shut up. Besides any patent that predates 1993 is almost certainly expired anyway.

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