Artificial Intelligence: Chinese Company Sues Apple For Violating Its Voice Recognition Patent

August 3, 2020 | Artificial Intelligence, News
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Shanghai Zhizhen Intelligent Network Technology Co., Ltd. claims  $1.43 billion in damages.

This dispute is over ten years old. According to Reuters, Shanghai Zhizhen Intelligent Network Technology Co., Ltd., also known as Xiao-I, has slapped Apple (NASDAQ: AAPL) with a $1.43 billion lawsuit. The Chinese company alleges that Apple violated a voice recognition patent owned by it. (The Globe and Mail)

Xiao-I’s plaint against Apple

Xiao-I claims that Apple’s Siri app uses voice recognition technology that is based on a patent it applied for in 2004 and was granted in 2009.

The Chinese company first sued the U.S. company for violating its voice recognition IP in 2012.

It alleges that Apple’s products violated a patent the Chinese company owns for a virtual assistant whose technical architecture is similar to Siri.

The aforesaid damages of $1.43 billion are not all.

Xiao-I has also demanded that the American tech giant stop sales, production, and the use of all products that flout the said patent.

Chinese court rules in favor of Xiao-I

In late June, according to Dow Jones, the Supreme Court of China said Xiao-I was the rightful owner of the voice recognition patent in China.

That decision was the culmination of a tortuous process through myriad court trials since 2012.

The court shenanigans could result in Apple having to stop sales of its products in China. The country is its second-biggest market after the U.S.

There are not reports of any comments by Apple on the subject of this suit. Reuters was unable to obtain a copy of the plaintiff’s complaint.

Apple’s AI acquisitions

In May, Apple acquired machine learning startup Inductiv, Inc., to improve its Siri database.

Inductiv identifies and corrects errors in data using a process automated by artificial intelligence.

In January, Apple acquired Xnor.ai, a start-up listed in the Forbes AI 50: America’s Most Promising Artificial Intelligence Companies’ list, for $200 million.

According to Wired, Apple’s purchase of this startup showed the trend of computing on the “edge” rather than in the cloud. In time to come, handheld devices could “machine-learn” too. They could thereby improve their performance over time, without recourse to the cloud.

Related Story:    Apple Acquires Inductiv Inc., a Machine Learning Startup

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