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It is not just frustrated users who are taking Siri to court. The iPhone 4S personal assistant has now put Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) in legal trouble in China — just days after the long-drawn iPad trademark battle with Proview was settled — after Shanghai-based Zhi Zhen Internet Technology alleged the technology infringed on its older voice service.
Zhi Zhen claims it holds a patent for a Chinese language voice system that has been used on its Xiao i service since 2004. It adds that it issued a complaint to Apple in May but did not receive a response.
While Apple launched Siri along with its iPhone 4S in October 2011, the company only announced the program’s Mandarin and Cantonese language roll-out for Chinese iPhones in June. Siri, used to schedule appointments, start phone calls, send text messages, and search the web through voice-activated commands, has had a bitter-sweet response so far. While some users have received it well, more than one consumer has taken Apple to court alleging that the assistant does less than advertised.
Meanwhile, Chinese courts have not been a friendly to Apple recently either. The company only recently settled a long-running lawsuit against it by Taiwanese firm Proview regarding the ownership of the iPad trademark in China. After months of court drama and negotiations that meant Apple could not put its third-generation iPad on shelves in China, the California company finally settled for $60 million. Then earlier this week, Chinese company Jiangsu Xeubao sued Apple for using the trademark Snow Leopard for its Mac software, claiming it has owned the name since 2000.
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