In 2013, Chinese AI company ZhiZhen Network Technology sued Apple when the company introduced its Siri digital assistant in China. ZhiZhen argued that it had obtained a patent in China in 2006 for its Xiao i Robot software, which answers questions and has conversations with users like Siri does. After alleging that Apple had infringed its patents, ZhiZhen demanded a preliminary injunction and that Apple pay him compensation for damages. Now, according to the South China Morning Post, ZhiZhen has again sued Apple for the alleged infringement of the patents it received for the Xiao i Robot. The latest lawsuit was filed on September 3, and once again, the Chinese company awaits a preliminary injunction against Apple preventing the manufacture, sale and export of all infringing products, including the future iPhone 13 series.
In addition to requesting the precautionary measure, the company asks for 10 billion yuan (equivalent to about 1.3 billion euros) in damages. Apple has not issued a new statement on the matter but has reiterated to the South China Morning Post the comment it already made in 2020. “Siri does not contain features included in its patent, which refers to games and instant messaging. Independent appraisers certified by the Supreme People’s Court have also found that Apple does not infringe on Xiao-i Robot technology. It should be noted that the main Siri technologies were created in 2003 and 2005 before the patent was issued.