Taiwan University Sues Apple Over Siri Patents
Silicon Valley juggernaut gets a taste of its own medicine
Taiwan’s National Cheng Kung University (NCKU) has sued Apple in a US court, accusing it of patent infringement in the design of the Siri voice recognition system, which is available on the iPhone and iPad.
The university is seeking an undisclosed amount of damages, based on the US sales of devices using Siri.
Live by the sword, die by the sword
The NCKU, recognised by the Taiwanese Ministry of Education as one of the best universities in the country, filed a lawsuit in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Texas, Marshall Division, on Friday. It focuses on two US patents dating from 2007 and 2010, related to voice-to-text technology.
“We filed that lawsuit in the Texas court because it processes faster and its rulings are usually in favour of patent owners and the compensations are usually higher,” Yama Chen, legal manager of NCKU, told Reuters.
Chen said the University was also examining whether smartphone voice recognition systems used by Google’s Android and Microsoft’s Windows Phone 7 have infringed its intellectual property.
Earlier this month, the Shanghai Zhizhen Network Technology, based in China, had sued Apple, claiming the Silicon Valley company infringed on a voice technology patent owned by Zhizhen. The company said it had 100 million customers in China, many using Xiao i Robot – a service similar to Siri.
Also in July, Apple had to pay $60 million (£38m) to Proview Technology, headquartered in Shenzhen, to settle a copyright dispute with the company that claimed the ownership of the Chinese ‘IPAD’ trademark.
Meanwhile, Samsung and Apple have entered the final stages of one of the most important, and expensive, patent disputes in the history of the smartphone market. If Samsung loses the case, it might find its whole Galaxy range banned from sale in the US.
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