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Hey Siri, Is There Another Lawsuit Against Apple?

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Ariz Suban
Ariz Suban Aug 2, 2020

Chinese artificial intelligence company Shanghai Zhizhen Intelligent Network Technology, also known as Xiao-i, has filed a lawsuit against Apple over the use of voice-recognition feature in Siri.

Under the claims made in a local Chinese court, the AI Company argued that Apple has illegally manufactured, used, and sold the technology that Xiao-i now has a patent for. In 2004, Xiao-i had applied for a patent for voice recognition (the one allegedly being used in Siri), which was eventually granted in 2009.  

Hey Siri: Do You Know a Chinese AI Company named Xiao-i?

Presenting the next saga in an already decade-long dispute, the Chinese company has called for CNY 10 billion (roughly ₹ 10,770 crores) as compensation for Apple’s allegedly illegal manufacture, usage, import and selling of Siri’s technology. Xiao-i first filed the lawsuit against Apple in 2012, claiming that Apple was infringing its voice-recognition technology which the Supreme People’s Court of China validated in July 2020. 

If Xiao-i wins the lawsuit, it could bring a halt to the sale of many Apple products, in addition to a hefty payment as compensation. All in all, a huge blow to Apple. 

Hey Siri: What does Apple Say?

Apple has denied the allegations, stating that Siri did not contain features included in the Xiao-i patent. According to the California-based giant, independent appraisers certified by the Supreme People’s Court of China have concluded that Apple does not infringe Xiao-i Robot’s technology.

We’re yet to see whether the Chinese courts ban Apple from selling Siri in the country or not. And with iPhone 12 release building up, things are looking tough from here. But then Siri might disagree. 

Hey Siri: What do you make of the lawsuit against Apple?
Siri: Doesn’t look like anything to me!! 

(Any Westworld fans here?)

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