It seems that Chinese companies absolutely love to sue Apple. After settling with Proview over the iPad name for $60 million, a chemical company named Xuebao, whose name translates to Snow Leopard, sued Apple over the name for their operating system. A third company has now stepped up to sue the company over its voice assistant, Siri.
The company in question is named Shanghai Zhi Zhen Internet Technlogy. They have filed suit in a Shanghai court over Siri which they say infringes upon their patent. It seems that Siri only violated their patent when Apple rolled out plans for Siri to speak Mandarin and Cantonese.
Zhi Zhen says that they applied for a patent back in 2004 for a robotic voice assistant that spoke Japanese. The product is called Xiao i Robot and holds no relation to Isaac Asimov’s short stories or the awful film adaptation starring Will Smith.
Speaking to Nasdaq, Zhi Zen sent Apple a letter back in May hoping to resolve the matter. After not hearing a response for over two months, they were left with no option but to file suit. The company only wants Apple to stop infringing on its technologies and reimburse them for the court costs. It’s not unreasonable, but it all seems a little too coincidental.
You may have noticed that having two companies come out against Apple in the same week after they settled with Proview is a little suspicious. Besides, a multi-million dollar settlement would be just a drop in the bucket for Apple. They could spare the change to pay out to a few Chinese companies, but Apple will probably fight it and win. These companies probably won’t put up as much of a fight as Proview did.