Blimey, Apple aren’t having much luck in China at the moment, are they? First they were forced to settle to the sum of £38 million in order to safeguard their iPad trademark, then do the same for their Snow Leopard OS X. Now it’s their Siri iPhone 4S voice assistant that’s getting them into hot water in the communist state.
Zhi Zhen claims that Apple’s phone butler infringes on patents they hold used in their Xiao i Robot service. Zhi Zhen claim to have reached out to Apple back in May, but did not receive a reply, leading to them taking the steps towards legal action.
Zhi Zhen’s patent was filed back in 2004, and with Apple now expanding the service to include Mandarin and Cantonese languages, the Chinese company has struck. They’re aiming to force Apple to stop using their patents (or, you’d imagine, cough up an appropriate lump of cash to smooth things over), as well as cover the cost of any legal fees.
Apple’s lawyers must be rubbing their hands with glee; there’s sure to be a sizeable Christmas bonus if they manage to pull off this courtroom hat-trick.
By Gerald Lynch | July 5th, 2012