On Monday, Taiwan’s National Cheng Kung University said that it had launched a lawsuit alleging Apple’s use of Siri in its iPhone and future versions of iPad infringes two U.S. patents the university was granted in 2007 and 2010 relating to voice-to-text technology. The lawsuit was filed on Friday at the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Texas, Marshall Division.
Yama Chen, the legal manager of National Cheng Kung, in the southern Taiwan city of Tainan, said “We filed that lawsuit in the Texas court because it processes faster and its rulings are usually in favour of patent owners and the compensations are usually higher.” Though Chen did not disclose the amount of compensation sought by the university, he indicated that the compensation would be proportionate to Apple’s sales of devices that use Siri in U.S. Chen said that the university was also examining whether the smartphone voice recognition systems used by Google Inc and Microsoft Corp could be seen as infringing the patents.
Recently, Apple had to pay $60 million to Proview Technology (Shenzhen) to settle a legal dispute over use of the iPad trademark in China. At the same time, Apple is also battling Samsung in one of the biggest technology patent trials being fought in courts across the world.
Chinese companies are becoming increasingly aware of their patent rights and violations. Recently a small company in China, Jiangsu Xuebao accused Apple of trademark violations for the use of Snow Leopard as the name of its computer operating system. Another company, Zhi Zhen Internet Techology is also targeting the voice assistant functions used in Siri.