Apple Sues Chinese Government Over Siri Patent

SiriIn an unusual turn of events, Apple is purportedly suing the Chinese government, as well as a China-based technology company, over patent rights for Siri. According to the State-run news agency in Xinhua, the iPad maker is striking back at Zhizhen Network Technology after being accused by that company of infringing on their personal assistant software.

From Agency French Presse, Apple launched a case against the State Intellectual Property Office, the department in charge of patent rights in China, as well as Shanghai’s Zhizhen Network Technology, who reportedly has similar technology as Siri.

“The UC company previously asked the State Intellectual Property Office to declare Zhizhen’s voice recognition patent invalid, but the request was declined, prompting the legal action,” Xinhua reported.

Last March, China was on a warpath against Apple. A film studio accused the tech giant of selling pirated movies, Zhizhen Network Technology had originally accused Apple of infringing on their own personal assistant technology, and CEO Tim Cook was backed into a corner, pushing him to publically apologize for warranty conditions in the country with a promise to make changes.

Apparently, Apple doesn’t feel like playing nice anymore.

The court heard the original case of Zhizhen Network Technology versus Apple in July of last year, but no ruling has been announced yet. Apple implemented Siri into its iPhone 4S in 2011. Zhizhen patented a similar voice-activated personal assistant software in 2004.

The Beijing Number One Intermediate People’s Court will hear the case of Apple versus the Chinese government and Zhizhen Network Technology on Thursday.

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About Lory: Writer of all things app related, traveler of the space-time continuum, baker of really great cookies. Follow me @appaholik