What goes around turns back around. It’s Apple’s turn to be accused of breaking the patents of others. The voice assistant developer Zhizhen Network Technology from Shanghai, China, filled on June 26 a lawsuit against Apple, accusing the Cupertino-based company of patent infringements.
Zhizhen received on February 15, 2006 the patents for a voice assistant, called Xiaoi Bot. The patent is “a type of instant messaging chat bot system” and it was implemented in services for MSN, Yahoo Messenger, and others. The issue is not about the Siri trademark, as in Proview’s lawsuit against the iPad trademark, but about how Apple introduced Siri on their Chinese website, saying that Siri “can understand what you say and what you’re asking for, and it can find the answer that you are looking for on the web”.
Zhizhen introduced Xiaoi bot on the market last month, as a voice assistant service of Lenovo’s Android 4.0 Smart TV and it will appear on smartphones, too, on February. On the other hand, Apple launched Siri last year with the iPhone 4S model and the iOS 6 will add also Chinese language support. Yet, according to the lawsuit, the Shanghai Company owned the patents first.
The lawsuit is currently in pre-trial negotiations and if the court will find Apple guilty of patent infringements, the tech giant may have to offer for the second time a huge financial compensation to a Chinese company.
Source: MIC Gadget