Apple faces patent issue related to Siri voice technology in China

Telecom Lead Asia: Apple is surely not having a good
time in the Chinese market, as a fresh brawl of patent infringement related to
its voice technology Siri popped out after a Shanghai-based company filed a
lawsuit against the devices major.


The Shanghai-based company claimed that the US giant’s
voice technology Siri has infringed on a patent involving its own personal
assistant software.


Recently, Apple settled another matter related to iPad
trademark with Proview Technology International in China. The matter
resolved as Apple agreed to pay Proview $60 million to settle the dispute.


Shanghai Zhizhen Network Technology alleged that Apple
has violated one of its patents. The company has developed Xiao i Robot, a
voice technology.


The company has sent a legal notice to Apple in May, but
received no response,” said Yuan Hui, chairman of Zhizhen.


Following the legal notice, the company filed the suit on
June 21 and a Shanghai court announced on June 26 that it will hear the case
quite soon.


The company claims that its patent covers a type of
instant messaging chat robot system. The company said that it filed for patent
approval in August 2004, and got approved on February 15, 2006.

Apple introduced Siri in China starting early this year,
with the official launch of iPhone 4S. In June, Apple launched Siri services in
Mandarin and Cantonese.


Apple in talks with Chinese officials to improve tablet


China is Apple’s second-biggest market overall, but Apple
has been losing ground to Samsung in smartphones and yet to launch the latest
version of its iPad in China.


In March this year, Apple chief executive Tim Cook
conducted discussions with senior government officials in China to come out of
the issues that are affecting its business potential in the world’s largest
mobile market.


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