Siri Gets Apple Sued In China

Siri Gets Apple Sued In China

Was Siri inspired by a Chinese chat bot called Xiaoi Bot?

Apple is very quick to jump on rival companies who infringe upon its patents, and the company is currently embroiled in a number of legal battles with the likes of Samsung and HTC. But sometimes, Apple is on the receiving end of these complaints. In China, the Cupertino company is being sued for infringing upon a voice assistant patent with its Siri feature.

Zhizhen Network Technology, the creator of a feature called Xiaoi Bot, claims that Apple’s voice-controlled assistant is guilty of infringing upon one of its patents which covers a “type of instant messaging chat bot system.” Xiaoi Bot integrates with instant messengers like Yahoo! Messenger and Windows Live Messenger, and also comes pre-installed on some devices, such as Lenovo’s upcoming Smart TV.

Xiaoi Bot reportedly looks a lot like Siri, so much so that you could accuse its creator of copying. However, Xiaoi Bot has actually been around a whole lot longer; the patent in question was applied for way back in 2004 — when the iPhone was just an idea at the back of Steve Jobs’s mind.

What’s interesting is that Zhizhen appears to have a problem with Apple’s description of Siri on its website, rather than Siri itself. What’s even more interesting is that the description the company refers to in its complaint has now been removed from Apple’s website.

Despite its removal, Apple is yet to respond to Zhizhen’s complaint, but M.I.C. Gadget reports that pre-trial proceedings are under way.

This case comes just days after Apple settled another legal battle in China with a $60 million payout to Proview Technologies for the “iPad” trademark.

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  • volodoscope

    Wag of my finger at Apple.

  • joewaylo

    3 down and how many more to go for suing Apple by China? A couple thousand is my guess.

  • RadTech5000

    As long as there is money to be made out of suing Apple, the companies will continue to flock together like fly’s on dung.

  • Koban4max

    Stop making products at China and stop selling products to China.

  • cayleg

    Apple has to stop using communist places to make iphones
    Apple is usa company and americans need jobs
    Extortion/copying/stealing/bribery- is fair company play in china and ussr
    Why would the world think its ok to do work with china when they rolled over there own students with tanks and tried to kill the dali lama!
    -im in canada and we have no love for the chinese government or its policys and we the people
    support the dali lama and welcome him here dispite threats by china.
    *i love apple but i will not continue to buy apple stuff if they dont change there manufacturing
    places- i will not help make china rich!*

  • MizMelissa

    Yea, let’s not even stop to comprehend that Apple most likely DID steal the idea for Siri among MANY other things…cough cough IPAD. So I can’t wait for them to now go up against Google and Samsung together against Apple’s crybaby tantrum lawsuits and bullshit claims that someone is always stealing their ideas! Kind of like the pot calling the kettle black!!

    Hell, even Apple’s “messiah” has been blunt about his stealing ideas….some of his quotes:

    “We have always been shameless about stealing great ideas.
    Good artists copy; great artists steal.”

    You can’t claim you invented ALL things related to cellular technology and design and SUE people who will ALWAYS put out a better product than you…. Realize you have the same lame ass phone with the same lame ass concept and proprietary branding that won’t ever compare to the likes of Samsung, HTC, etc and just bow out gracefully…

    Hope you are burning in hell, Jobs!!

About the author

Killian BellKillian Bell is a staff writer based in the U.K. He has an interest in all things tech and also covers Android over at CultofAndroid.com. You can follow him on Twitter via @killianbell.

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