Chinese Xinhua reports that Apple has sued a Chinese State Intellectual Property Office and a local company – Zhizhen Network Technology – over patent rights for its personal assistant, Siri (via the Telegraph).
The iPhone maker targeted the State Intellectual Property Office in its latest patent lawsuit, as the latter has failed to declare the Zhizhen voice recognition patent invalid.
Apple has stepped into a Chinese minefield with its Siri personal assistant, as last year Zhizhen claimed the iPhone maker had copied components of its “Xiao i Robot” software patented in 2004.
The case was scheduled to be heard last July, but no official ruling has yet seen the light of day.
Zhizhen has been determined to ask Apple to stop manufacturing and selling products using its patent rights ever since the infringement was confirmed. But as there has been no official ruling, the iPhone maker was free to launch the iPhone 5s and 5c on China Mobile this January.
This isn’t the first time Apple has been sued over Siri. Back in July 2012, the Taiwanese National Cheng King University filed a lawsuit against Apple alleging the technology behind Siri violated two of the university’s speed-recognition patents. But this is the first time Apple has filed a lawsuit against a Chinese government agency.