Chinese Company Claims It Created Siri First

Apple has been in heated legal battles with competition lately, from the iPad trademark case to the Samsung Galaxy Nexus ban. Today, however, they’re getting a bit of flak from a different Chinese company known as  Shanghai ZHIZHEN Network Technology over their nine-month-old Siri voice assistant. According to the Shanghai-based patent holder, they created and obtained a patent for the technology found in Siri back in 2004, naming their iteration “Xiao i Robot.” More coverage after the break.

The patent was filed on August 13th, 2004 and covers “a type of instant messaging chat bot system,” according to Marbridge Consulting. A spokesperson from ZHIZHEN said that the company had sent a letter to Apple back in May of this year, but received no response. Now, however, the company wishes to “stop Apple from infringing on its technology and force the world’s most valuable company to bear the cost of litigation,” as noted by Paul Mozur of NASDAQ news.

Siri, Inc. was established in 2007 by Dag Kittlaus and was available in the App Store as a third-party voice assistant for iOS devices. On April 23rd of 2010, however, Apple purchased the little app to integrate it into the iPhone 4S late the following year. In the latest iteration of iOS, which is currently in beta, Siri will be available on the iPhone and iPad — the most current generations only, though. iOS 6 is scheduled to release sometime this autumn.

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