Apple sued in China for $1.four billion of Siri patent infringement

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Apple has lengthy been making an attempt to woo the Chinese language market, its second-largest after the US, even going so far as making compromises it might not even contemplate doing for another area. Given the tensions between the US and Chinese language governments, nonetheless, the Cupertino-based firm would possibly really feel prefer it’s strolling on eggshells. It doesn’t assist that it’s continuously bombarded with lawsuits, the latest of which may see it not solely pay billions of {dollars} to the plaintiff but in addition briefly halt the gross sales of just about all its units in China.

All this authorized fuss revolves round Siri, Apple’s digital assistant that’s now on virtually all of its merchandise, from iPhones to iPads to Apple Watches to Macs to Apple TVs and even to iPod Touches. It isn’t the one digital assistant on the town, in fact, particularly in China. And as of June this 12 months, China’s supreme court docket dominated that native firm Shanghai Zhizhen owns the patent for a digital assistant in China, one thing that it and Apple have been combating over in court docket since 2013.

Now Shanghai Zhizhen is suing Apple, alleging that the US firm’s Siri infringes on this newly-awarded patent. Not solely is it asking for round $1.43 billion in damages, it additionally desires Apple to cease promoting merchandise that use Siri, which is just about all of its merchandise offered in China exterior of equipment. If Shanghai Zhizhen additionally applies for a preliminary injunction, Apple could possibly be pressured to cease promoting these instantly throughout the size of the trial, which may additionally take years.

Regardless of is efforts to appease the Chinese language authorities and appeal to Chinese language customers, Apple hasn’t had a successful streak with regards to lawsuits. Twice it determined to settle trademark disputes over its iPad and iPhone names. That will have emboldened Shanghai Zhizhen to make an much more aggressive try at squeezing a hefty sum out of Apple.

That mentioned, it isn’t a stable win for Shanghai Zhizhen both. Not solely is such a preliminary injunction hardly ever given, the court docket would possibly discover that its Xiao-i AI assistant and Apple’s Siri are completely different sufficient to haven’t any infringing patents concerned. Then once more, the battle between the 2 world powers, to not point out the US’ marketing campaign towards Huawei and now TikTok, may bias the case towards Apple.

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