Apple faces new copyright suit in China

July 8th, 2012 - 6:59 pm ICT by IANS  

Beijing, July 8 (IANS) Apple Inc is facing another lawsuit in China after a company claimed the US giant’s voice technology Siri has infringed on a patent involving its own personal assistant software.

The Shanghai-based Zhizhen Network Technology Co Ltd has sued Apple, asserting that Siri violated one of its patents, the China Daily reported.

The firm’s chairman, Yuan Hui, said Zhizhen, developer of the voice technology called Xiao i Robot, sent a legal notice to Apple in May but received no response.

Zhizhen then filed the suit June 21. A Shanghai court announced June 26 that it will hear the case “quite soon”, according to Yuan.

The move came only days after Apple Inc paid $60 million to Proview Technology to end a protracted legal dispute over the iPad trademark in China.

Zhizhen’s patent covers “a type of instant messaging chat robot system”, according to the database of the country’s State Intellectual Property Office.

The patent was filed Aug 13, 2004. It was approved Feb 15, 2006.

“We have 100 million users in China, and many companies are using our product,” Yuan told the newspaper.

In comparison, Siri Inc, essentially a start-up company Apple acquired in 2010, started producing the mobile virtual assistant in 2007, the paper added.

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