Apple wins appeal in China over Siri patent rights

24 Apr 2015

Apple has won its appeal in an intellectual property battle in China over its Siri software

Apple has won its appeal in a long-running intellectual property battle in China over its Siri software.

As reported by the Associated Press, the Beijing Higher People’s Court overruled an earlier decision that had gone against the US consumer tech titan, declaring that itspersonal digital assistant does not infringe on patents held by Shanghai-based firm Zhizhen Network Technology.

“The move means Apple’s Siri voice recognition system did not infringe the protected rights of other patents and Apple fans can continue enjoying the conveniences brought by the technology,” the court said in a statement on 21 April.

Debuting on the iPhone 4s in 2011, Siri is voice-activated software that allows users to send messages, make phonecalls, schedule meetings etc… without touching a keypad or speaking specific commands.

Zhizhen first pursued Apple for allegedly infringing its Chinese patent with Siri back in 2012. Apple retaliated by requesting that a Chinese intellectual property body invalidate Zhizhen’s original patent, but this was rejected. The company subsequently took legal action against both the agency and Zhizhen, but lost.

China is an increasingly important market for Apple, but the company has met resistance from local firms as it attempts to grow in the region.

In 2012, Apple paid out US$60m to settle a dispute with Proview International Holdings Ltd over who owns the iPad name in China, while just recently, the founder and CEO of Chinese tech firm Leshi TV likened the firm to Adolf Hitler in a poster teasing the launch of the company’s new smartphone.


Dean Van Nguyen was a contributor to Silicon Republic