AI start-up claims 10 billion yuan over Apple’s Siri infringement
Published: Aug 03, 2020 06:18 PM

An Apple store in Chengdu, Southwest China's Sichuan Province. Photo: IC

Shanghai-based artificial intelligent (AI) start-up Xiaoi Robot Technology Corp said Monday that it has filed a lawsuit with the Shanghai Higher People's Court, requesting Apple to stop its Siri patent infringement, and claimed 10 billion yuan ($1.43 billion) in compensation.

The company requests Apple to stop its Siri patent infringement, including but not limited to requesting that Apple stops manufacturing, using, promising to sell, sell, and import products that infringe on the patent.

Yuan Hui, founder, chairman and CEO of Xiaoi told the Global Times that this patent is the core patent of Xiaoi Robot, and it is also a core patent in human-computer interaction and the artificial intelligence industry. 

"Through this lawsuit, we will prove to the world the strength of Chinese AI companies," he said. 

The move came after the company said in July that it would continue its civil case against Apple over intellectual property infringement involving personal assistant Siri.

The Supreme People's Court of China on June 29 made a verdict in favor of the "Little i Robot" patent owned by Xiaoi, marking a partial end to an eight-year legal battle between the Chinese AI start-up and Apple.

Xiaoi claims that Apple's Siri application falls into the regime of its patent protection and filed a lawsuit against Apple for patent infringement in June 2012. Siri debuted in 2011 when Apple launched the iPhone 4S. 

Zhao Zhanling, a senior analyst at the Center for IPR Studies at the China University of Political Science and Law, told the Global Times Monday that the claimed sum may connect with sales in China, but no matter what the sum will be, it depends on the court's judgment.

"Even the patent is valid, it does not mean that it is a civil infringement," Zhao added.

Apple said in a statement to the Global Times that Siri does not contain features included in their patent, which relates to games and instant messaging, and they are disappointed Xiao i Robot has filed another lawsuit. Independent appraisers certified by the Supreme People's Court have also concluded that Apple does not infringe Xiao I Robot's technology.