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August 4, 2020

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Shanghai AI firm sues Apple for US$1.4b

XIAO-I Robot has filed a lawsuit with Shanghai High People’s Court yesterday, demanding that Apple stop using Siri, which it claims infringes its patent, and wants 10 billion yuan (US$1.4 billion) in compensation.

The Jiading-based company said it received a national invention patent in 2009 for a system it said can let robots communicate with people and complete tasks after hearing commands, such as playing games or finding information, it said.

In 2011, Apple used Siri (Speech Interpretation & Recognition Interface) in its iPhone 4s for the first time and many of its products have the facility. Siri is also for man-machine interaction with similar functions including chatting and searching for information.

In 2012, Xiao-I Robot took Apple to Shanghai No. 1 Intermediate People’s Court over right infringement. However, Apple questioned the validity of Xiao-I Robot’s patent.

Xiao-I Robot’s case was supported by the patent re-examination board and Shanghai and Beijing intermediate courts. However, Beijing’s high court considered the patent invalid.

After an eight-year battle, the Supreme People’s Court rejected Apple’s petition and confirmed Xiao-I Robot’s patent as valid in July this year.

Yuan Hui, the company’s founder and CEO, said Apple should pay for using Xiao-I Robot’s patent. The company’s lawyer said yesterday that the amount of compensation asked for may be adjusted during further investigation.

Xiao-I Robot focuses on the research and development of intelligent robots.


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