Patent lawsuit targets Apple’s Siri voice recognition technology

“Dot 23 Technologies, a non-practicing entity located in Texas, is looking to take Apple to trial for implementing Siri into the iPhone platform, alleging the virtual assistant’s voice dialing and geolocation capabilities infringe upon three patents,” Mikey Campbell reports for AppleInsider.

“In a complaint filed with the patent holder-friendly Eastern District Court of Texas on Wednesday, Dot 23 asserts Apple infringed on three patents covering various smartphone voice recognition features with Siri, a technology in use since the iPhone 4S launched in 2011,” Campbell reports. “Specifically, the lawsuit holds Apple in infringement of U.S. Patent Nos. 6,917,802, 7,245,903 and 6,405,029, granted between 2002 and 2007 to a single inventor, Byard G. Nilsson. All three patents were assigned to Mobile Telephone Technology, an LLC connected to Nilsson, before being transferred to Dot 23 last September.”

“The complaint does not proffer evidence claiming Apple had prior knowledge of the patents-in-suit, noting that the filing itself serves as notification of infringement. Aside from Siri, the suit names Apple’s iPhone 4, iPhone 5 and iPhone 6 models as products enabling infringement,” Campbell reports. “Dot 23 is seeking damages with interest and fees.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Rocket docket!


  1. I never feel too bad for any large corporation that has to deal with the annoying flaws of the U.S. patent system: they have the money and influence to fix this broken system, and choose not to. Why? Because the system is much more of a problem for potential upstart disrupters. The system creates a barrier to entry, making the large existing players more secure. I think that is probably less true in Apple’s case.
    The biggest impediment to fixing the U.S. patent system is the pharmaceutical industry: they want strong long-term protection due to up-front costs.

  2. Let’s see. Apple first showed off Casper on stage in August 1993. They were clearly working on it for a year or two before then. It was one of the first that was pretty much voice and accent independent. (Casper was the great grand father of Siri.) Putting Siri onto a phone is a logical extension to what Apple has been working on for over 24 years. These patents should never have been issued.

    1. As has been lectured to me, the folks who created Dragon had been hard at work on their tech since 1975. Apple went their own way with Casper, which became PlainTalk. It hasn’t evolved much, as is represented on all versions of OS X. It ain’t no Siri.

      But my impression is that the lawsuit is NOT about speech recognition (which in the case of Siri is provided by Nuance, by way of Dragon). It is about services provided by speech recognition. There is a lot of detail about the specific patents in the source article at AppleInsider.

      IOW: The title of the article is misleading.

  3. I just read through the patents in suit. . . and they do not seem to relate to Siri at all except in the imagination of the inventor. The first one seems to be closest in that it is claimed to be a means to use voice recognition to dial a phone number. But this was being done by numerous means way before this patent was even applied for that it cannot be applied to anything as an invention contemporary to Siri. In fact, Siri doesn’t even work the way the inventor his system is described for dialing. The second seems to be about about charging a credit card for phone service. . . Totally unrelated to anything done on Siri or even with an iPhone. Some banking might be done in this manner, but it is so specific it is ludicrous.

    The final one seems to describe a phone itself using technology from the 1990s, and shows the “inventor” has no clue how anything is really done. He has boxes inside the phone he has assigned functions to do things, but he doesn’t connect them to anything in any sensible way. Just boxes that do things he thinks need to be done. His phone has a pull out antenna, for example. . . And he claims that Apple is, somehow, infringing this patent. Say what???? The suit seems to be a shotgun approach hoping something might stick. I’d love to see what the logic is.

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