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Apple loses patent case in China over Siri functions

The company plans to bring the case to a higher court to see if it can reverse the verdict that favors Shanghai-based Zhizhen Internet Technology.


Apple has lost a patent-infringement case in China over Siri, according to reports.

Shanghai-based Zhizhen Internet Technology won its patent-infringement case against Apple on Monday when Beijing's First Intermediate Court ruled that Apple's virtual personal assistant Siri was infringing a speech-recognition patent Zhizhen holds.

Zhizhen sued Apple in 2012, claiming that the company's Siri, which is used on iPhones, violates its speech-recognition technology. Siri allows users to ask a virtual personal assistant questions or issue commands, and responds accordingly. The Zhizhen patent case doesn't take issue with how Siri works necessarily, but rather the way in which a person's speech is recognized and analyzed.

Apple told Reuters in a statement that it was unaware of the Zhizhen patent before the lawsuit process began and believes that its technology does not in any way infringe on the intellectual property. The company also indicated that while it will bring the case to a higher court, it's willing to hold discussions with Zhizhen to settle out of court.

Siri is no stranger to being the subject of lawsuits. Apple has warred with several organizations over the technology, including Samsung, a Taiwan-based university, and others. So far, however, Siri hasn't been banned from use.

CNET has contacted Apple for comment on the lawsuit. We will update this story when we have more information.