Apple Inc. Loses Patent Case In China

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Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) lost the patent case in China, when a Beijing court gave its decision in favor of a Chinese firm setting the path for the latter to continue with a separate case against the iPhone maker for invading the intellectual property rights. Zhizhen filed the case against Apple, in 2012, stating that Apple Siri, which also uses voice technology, has violated the Zhizhen’s voice system patents.

Government agency, also, sued

In response, Apple filed a case against Zhizhen Internet Technology and China’s State Intellectual Property Office, arguing that Zhizhen’s patent rights over a speech recognition technology were invalid.

However, Beijing’s first Intermediate court denied the allegations from Apple and upheld the patent right of Chinese firm, according to the report of People’s Daily  newspaper.  In relation to the case, where Apple brought a lawsuit against the government agency, the court ruling says that it does not support the cause of action mentioned by U.S. firm.

To turn the case in its favor, Apple urged the patenting authority of China to declare Zhizhen patents invalid, in November 2012. But the authorities went by their own decision of validating the patent. The authorities gave patents right to Zhizhen in 2009, and in the year 2012 its founder and chief executive officer Yuan Hui said that Apple Siri has copied its patent.

Apple to re-appeal

Apple spokeswoman in Beijing, in an emailed statement to Reuters, said “Unfortunately, we were not aware of Zhizhen’s patent before we introduced Siri (speech recognition technology) and we do not believe we are using this patent.” She said that in the mean-time when separate court will examine the case, Apple is ready to have a reasonable discussion with the Zhizhen.

AppleSiri refers to the user’s command through voice recognition software and was released for the first time in 2011, in the iPhone 4S. Zhizhen argued that it’s earlier “Xiao i Robot” worked on the same track.

Apple has quite a history in patent case disputes with the other companies in China, where iDevices are very popular. In 2012, the iPhone maker settled the legal dispute by paying $60- million to a Chinese firm over iPad trademark.

Apple would re-appeal the case in the Beijing Higher People’s court, as per the report. There was no comment from the Chinese firm.

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