Companies in North Carolina whose products involve the use of digital technology are keeping a close watch on a patent infringement case directed at the Siri feature offered by Apple to its customers. The business litigation is based on a claim that the popular Siri voice recognition feature violates patents held by a Colorado company since 1998.
According to the complaint in the federal lawsuit, the owner of the patent for technology for voice recognition control of a digital computer claims that Apple used the technology while being fully aware of the 1998 patent. A federal court judge recently upheld the sufficiency of the allegations raised by the patent owner by refusing to grant Apple’s request for dismissal of the intellectual property dispute. The patent owner also named other computer and electronic device manufacturers including Motorola, Google, Samsung, Sony and Research in Motion as defendants in the lawsuit.
The case against Apple includes a claim of indirect patent infringement that is common in business disputes involving the misuse of patented technology. An indirect infringement claim asserts that a defendant encouraged or directed others to use the technology. In this case, Apple is accused of encouraging manufacturers to make use of the Siri and Google Voice Search features, both of which are alleged to use the patented technology, in their products.
Business litigation generated by patent infringement claims or intellectual property disputes can involve highly technical issues requiring an understanding of the laws applicable to patents and intellectual property. An attorney might be able to assist an individual or business involved in domestic business litigation or international business disputes by providing answers to questions or concerns that might arise. Obtaining legal advice and guidance might also help someone to determine what rights, if any, might exist under the laws pertaining to patents or copyrights.
Source: Courthouse News, “Patents Behind Siri Could Leave Apple Liable“, Courtney Walters, January 08, 2014