A Chinese firm says it’s suing Apple Computer, claiming the Siri digital assistant included in iPhones and iPads breaks patents it holds. Zhi Zhen Network Technology says it’s granted a Chinese patent in 2006 for its Xiao i Robot program, Apple Insider revealed yesterday.
Xiao i Robot features voice interactions and is able to respond to questions and hold simple discussions in much the say way Apple’s Siri does. Zhi Zhen Network Technology says its concept — launched in versions for the web, Android, Windows Phone, desktops and Apple’s iOS — has around 100 million customers in China.
Zhi Zhen registered its patent lawsuit in July 2012, right after Apple’s Siri became available in China. Both sides seemed in a Shanghai court yesterday for a pretrial proceeding.
A complete hearing is set for July.