updated 11:05 am EDT, Wed March 27, 2013
Firm claims Xiao voice recognition tech predates Siri
Lawyers for Apple appeared in a Shanghai court earlier today at the start of a lawsuit over the company's Siri voice command system, according to Agence France-Presse. Zhizhen Network Technology alleges that Siri violates a patent on voice recognition, used in the company's Xiao i Robot software, that dates back to 2004. Siri is said to have been first developed in 2007. After buying out Siri's creator, Apple folded the technology into iOS in October 2011.
Zhizhen adds that Xiao functions in a similar manner to Siri, but works on both iOS and Android, and has over 100 million users in China. "The company will ask Apple to stop manufacturing and selling products using its patent rights, once Apple's infringement is confirmed," says a lawyer representing Zhizhen, Si Weijiang. "We don't exclude the possibility of demanding compensation in the future."
Today's court hearing was a pre-trial evidence exchange. A Zhizhen spokeswoman says that the full case is scheduled to be heard in July. The two parties could, however, conceivably settle the dispute before then.