Taiwan university sues Apple over Siri speech recognition

A university in Taiwan has sued Apple over its use of dictation feature in Siri and the underlying speech recognition engine, claiming Apple’s implementation violates its patents. National Cheng Kung University has on Monday launched a lawsuit against the iPhone maker and is seeking undisclosed damages, though its lawyers noted that any calculation would be based on Apple’s U.S. sales of devices that use Siri, quite possibly amounting to millions of dollars in damages…

Reuters has the story:

Taiwan’s National Cheng Kung University said on Monday it had launched a suit alleging that Apple’s use of Siri in its iPhone and future versions of its iPad infringes two U.S. patents it was granted in 2007 and 2010 that relate to voice-to-text technology.

The suit was filed in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Texas, Marshall Division, on Friday, it said.

This is the second lawsuit from Asia targeting Siri.

Earlier in the month, Shaghai-based Zhi Zhen Network Technology filed a lawsuit against Apple, asserting that Siri infringes upon its Xiaoi Bot patent which outlines an instant messaging chat bot system of sorts.

Here’s that bot in action.


Dictation via Siri has been present on the iPhone 4S since last November. It’s also been enabled on Macs with Mountain Lion installed and will come to the third-generation iPad when iOS 6 gets released this fall.

Apple licenses Nuance technology for Siri’s speech recognition. Nuance is said to have the most intellectual property in speech synthesis technologies in the industry. The company ran two billion annual “voice transactions”, which excludes Siri, its marketing chief  Peter Mahoney told The Telegraph back in May.

Nuance is also in the process of acquiring Vlingo, which powers Samsung’s Siri variant for the Galaxy S III handset. Siri the service initially used Vlingo’s voice technology.

How do you feel about the National Cheng Kung University’s lawsuit?