updated 11:30 pm EDT, Mon July 30, 2012
Patent suit filed in Eastern District of Texas court
Taiwan's National Cheng Kung University has filed a suit in Texas alleging that Apple's Siri technology infringes two voice-to-text US patents it was granted in 2007 and 2010. The suit is the opening volley in what may become a wave of suits in the US, as the university claims to be examining whether similar voice recognition systems used by Google and Microsoft are infringing as well.
The suit has been filed in the notoriously patent-holder friendly United States District Court for the Eastern District of Texas, Marshall Division. Yama Chen, legal manager of National Cheng Kung said "We filed that lawsuit in the Texas court because it processes faster and its rulings are usually in favor of patent owners and the compensations are usually higher," but declined to disclose the financial award the university was seeking.
Two other Chinese companies are suing Apple in the wake of its $60 million settlement with defunct monitor manufacturer Proview. Jiangsu Xuebao alleges trademark violations for the use of the "Snow Leopard" name for a version of OS X, and Zhi Zhen Internet Technology is also suing targeting Apple's Siri technology as an infringement of patents. Zhi Zhen claims damages in excess of $60 million dollars, and Jiangsu Xuebao wants just over $80,000 and an apology. Regardless of demands, Chinese legal analysts expect neither company to gain much traction with the suits.