Apple loses patent claim battle against Chinese Siri

Siri's usefulness has stood the test of time, but can 3D Touch?
Photo: Apple

A Beijing court has ruled against Apple, upholding the validity of a patent for a “type of instant messaging chat bot system” held by a Chinese company.

Zhizhen Internet Technology sued Apple back in 2012, claiming that virtual assistant Siri was infringing on the Chinese company’s patented idea for a so-called Xiaoi Bot. The Chinese bot was patented in 2004 — two years before the first Siri-related patent filing was made.

Tuesday’s Beijing court ruling paves the way for Zhizhen to continue its case against Apple for intellectual property infringement. Apple’s defense? That it never heard of Zhizhen’s technology prior to creating Siri.

Nuance CEO Confirms Company Powers Siri’s Voice Recognition



While speaking today at the All Things D conference, Nuance CEO Paul Ricci confirmed that Nuance does indeed help power the voice recognition service for Siri.

Since Siri’s launch in 2011, many people assumed that Apple had formed a partnership with Nuance, but neither company has officially confirmed the relationship.

During the his interview, Ricci was asked whether it’s his company’s fault if the iPhone doesn’t understand a user’s voice. Ricci confirmed that Nuance does power the voice part of Siri, but the company is not involved in speech-recognition efforts with Google.