Apple Faces $1.4 Billion Lawsuit in Siri Patent Fight

Borsam IP

A Chinese AI company has formally filed a lawsuit against Apple Inc, alleging it has infringed on its patents, the company, known both as Shanghai Zhizhen Intelligent Network Technology and as Xiao-i.

Xiao-i requests Apple Inc to cease patent infringement and to stop manufacturing, usage, offers to sell, sales and imports of products with Siri that violate its patent, also seeking 10 billion yuan ($1.43 billion) in compensation.

According to the explanation of Xiao-i, they own the Chinese invention patent No. ZL200410053749.9 (a chatbot system), which was applied for in 2004 and granted in 2009. The company said that the chatbot system has two functions that are protected by this patent:
1. Users can chat with the robot, and get an anthropomorphic conversation instantly.
2. Users can "command" the robot to search for any information they want, and play games, etc.

Xiao-i lodged its complaint as early as 2012, but Apple filed a request to have the patent invalidated. So, this isn't the first lawsuit that the two companies have over this patent, the fight has continued for eight years, but at the end of last month, China's Supreme People's Court ruled that the patent was valid, it reversed the previous decision reached by Beijing High Court.

Based on the new information, Xiao-i is using the latest decision to renew the patent infringement and filed a formal lawsuit with the Shanghai High People's Court.

Apple didn't immediately respond to request for comment.