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Apple loses voice recognition patent lawsuit

2014-07-09 08:06 Xinhua Web Editor: Qin Dexing

Apple Inc. lost its patent infringement lawsuit against a Chinese government agency and a Shanghai technology company on Tuesday.

Apple had sued the Patent Review Committee under the State Intellectual Property Office and Shanghai Zhizhen Network Technology Co. Ltd in February, accusing the latter infringing the copyright on its voice recognition software, Siri.

Beijing No.1 Intermediate People's Court did not support Apple's position and Apple said at court that it will appeal.

In June 2012, Zhizhen, developer of voice recognition technology Xiao i Robot, accused Apple of intellectual property rights infringement, claiming its patent was applied for in 2004 and granted in 2006.

Siri was first developed in 2007 by Siri Inc., a start-up company acquired by Apple in 2010, and appeared first on the iPhone in fall 2011.

Xiao i Robot began in 2003 as a chat bot for MSN, Yahoo Messenger and other similar networks. It has expanded to IOS and Android where it bears a striking similarity to Siri.

Trials at a Shanghai court opened in 2012 but no verdict was given. Apple later applied to the Patent Review Committee under the State Intellectual Property Office to invalidate the Xiao i Robot patent. When the committee supported Xiao i Robot, Apple sued the committee and the Shanghai company.

Apple has faced many lawsuits in China in recent years. In June representatives of Yishijia Network Technology Co., Ltd filed suit against Apple and Woshang Information technology Co., Ltd over use in Apple's app store of a trademark Yishijia owns. The company is asking for compensation of more than 100 million yuan (about 16 million U.S. dollars).

The dispute began in April, when Yishijia applied to upload the mobile application for Homevv, an online shopping platform, to the store. The application was rejected as the Woshang app, bearing the same trademark,was already there.

Yishijia, which has owned the Homevv trademark since 2010, asked Apple to take Woshang's app down multiple times but was rejected.

In 2012, Apple paid 60 million U.S. dollars to Proview Technology (Shenzhen) to end a protracted legal dispute over the iPad trademark in China.

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