Apple wins Siri patent appeal in China

“Apple has won an appeal in China over patent rights to voice recognition software such as the iPhone’s ‘Siri,’ with a court overruling an earlier decision that had gone against the US technology giant,” AFP reports.

“The legal battle begun in 2012 when Shanghai-based Zhizhen Network Technology pursued Apple for allegedly infringing its Chinese patent with Siri, its ‘intelligent personal assistant,'” AFP reports. “Apple asked a Chinese intellectual property body to declare Zhizhen’s original patent ineffective but the request was rejected. The US firm then took legal action against both the agency and Zhizhen, but lost.”

“The Beijing Higher People’s Court upheld Apple’s appeal, ordering the Chinese agency to reverse its decision,” AFP reports. “The announcement came days before the long-awaited Apple Watch launched Friday in select parts of Asia including China, which is expected to be a key market.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: All’s well that ends well.

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Apple’s Siri hit with patent infringement lawsuit in China – July 5, 2012
Apple loses China speech recognition patent case, separate suit against Apple continues – July 9, 2014
Apple sues Chinese government over Siri knockoff – February 24, 2014
Chinese company files lawsuit claiming Apple copied Siri personal assistant – March 27, 2013


    1. Well, yes they are. How many people are indirectly employed that assembly Apple products? Maybe upwards of a million? In many ways, Apple is China’s golden company. When a million Chinese have a direct stake in Apple’s success, you know they’re going to be taken care of.

  1. Zhizhen Network Technology patented its Xiao i Robot software in 2004. This software contains voice recognition. They claim that Apples SIRI software was not developed until 2007.

    Siri is an application that combines speech recognition with advanced natural language processing. For the speech recognition piece, Apple partnered with Nuance. I believe that the three big players in speech recognition technology: AT&T, Nuance and IBM all have worldwide patents which predate the Zhizhen patents. Apples contribution was the natural language processing and the artificial intelligence pieces.

    While I do not believe that Zhizhen is a patent troll (they have actual product), I would question the wisdom of suing Apple over speech recognition, when Apple is buying that service from a 3rd party.

    Glad that the Beijing Higher People’s Court upheld the appeal and reversed the lower courts decision.

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