Apple has recently filed Siri-related lawsuits against two different groups in China, one of which is a government organization.
The first group Apple’s suing is Zhizhen. Zhizhen is a Chinese tech company that owns “Xiao i Robot“, a phone software which functions incredibly similar to Siri. This software was reportedly first patented by the company back in 2004. Zhizhen itself tried to sue Apple for copying its Xiao i Robot software this past July, however a court decision has yet to be reached on the issue.
Now Apple is flipping the script and is suing Zhizhen, stating that the company’s patent is invalid and that the company’s Xiao i Robot software infringes on Apple’s own patent rights.
Before doing this, Apple tried to have Zhizhen’s original patent invalidated by China’s State Intellectual Property Office, a government agency that deals with patent rights protection. With no luck on that front, Apple has now decided to file suit against the State Intellectual Property Office as well.
Some people raise concerns over Apple’s decision to sue a Chinese government agency, given China’s history of publicly smearing corporations through its state controlled media outlets. (Apple included) Then again, Apple has been selling a ton of phones in the country.
I asked Siri what her thoughts were on the competing Chinese company, but just like her Apple creators, she’s often tight lipped.