Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) is facing a $1.4 billion patent suit From Chinese AI firm Shanghai Zhizhen which received a local voice assistant patent similar to SIRI.
Apple faces patent suit related to SIRI voice assistant
The Chinese company, also known as Xiao claims that the iPhone maker is infringing on its patents and seeks to bar Apple from selling iPhones and other products in the country. Xiao is seeking compensation of $1.4 billion in damages and wants the US Company to stop manufacturing, promising to sell, using, and even importing products infringing on their patent. In the lawsuit, the company alleges that SIRI infringes on its patent it had applied for in 2004 and awarded in 2009.
Apple usually integrates the voice assistant to almost all its devices that include iPads, Apple Watch, iPhones, Apple TV as well as smart-home speaker Homepod. China is the largest foreign market for Apple in terms of sales but it has been facing competition from Chinese brands such as Huawei that has surpassed it to become the biggest smartphone sellers globally. Should there be a preliminary injunction filed then a court will ban Apple from offering products with SIRI in China which is almost all its products during the trial period.
Apple ready to argue its case in court
In a statement, Apple stated that SIRI doesn’t include features specified in the Xiao patent that relates to instant messaging and games. It also stated that independent appraisers had ascertained that the company doesn’t infringe on Xiao’s Robot tech. The iPhone maker said that they will present facts to court as they focus on delivering quality products and services to their customers.
Unlike most US tech companies such as Facebook Inc. (NASDAQ:FB), Amazon.com Inc. (NASDAQ:AMZN), and Google (NASDAQ:GOOGL), Apple has a huge presence in China. it has been under criticism in the US about its willingness to abide by the restrictive internet laws of China. Attorney General William Barr alluded last month that the company was selling iPhones in China that had security backdoors that the government could access.