Chinese firm sues Apple for patent violation with Siri

AppleA 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.

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