In the world of patents: Samsung < Apple < Zhizhen

In the world of patents: Samsung < Apple < Zhizhen
We're living in a strange world. One moment you sue someone for stealing from you, the next you're being sued by someone else for stealing from them. At least, this seems to be the case with Apple, who has recently achieved some victories in the court, managing to block the sales of devices like the Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 and Galaxy Nexus, but has also paid $60 million to ProView for rights over the iPad name in China.

It looks like China may not be the hospitable place Apple expected it to be. Sure, we know that the Cupertino-based company sees China as one of the biggest opportunities for market growth, but it may soon have to pay another hefty sum, this time to a company called Zhizhen Network Technology, due to patent infringement. But who are Zhizhen and do they even have patents? It turns out they do, and they are suing Apple because of Siri, which, they claim, is infringing on their patent for a "type of instant messaging chat bot system", called Xiaoi Bot. Xiaoi Bot is said to be a relatively popular Siri-like service in China, which comes pre-loaded on some smartphones.

According to the available information about the case, what has made Zhizhen file the lawsuit was Apple's description of Siri, found on the official iPhone 4S web page. Since then, the description has been removed, but nonetheless, Apple may have to pay north of the $60 million it paid to ProView to settle this up.

Check out Xiaoi Bot in action:

via: RedmondPie



1. deviantirish79

Posts: 26; Member since: Jan 23, 2012

SJ must have taken a tour of the Lenovo facility.

2. plgladio

Posts: 314; Member since: Dec 05, 2011

SIRI SIRI SIRI... Atleast now Apple fans think that none in the mobile is invented by Apple. I'm not telling that Android is perfect, but stop crying like baby..

4. plgladio

Posts: 314; Member since: Dec 05, 2011

Add to this: *Xiaoi Bot is also integrated with Lenovo’s upcoming Android 4.0-based SmartTV. So I think they wont sue Android :D

5. Joshing4fun

Posts: 1245; Member since: Aug 13, 2010

And the iPhone is made up of so many Samsung parts. That never stopped apple from suing them! You can never know what will happen when lawyers entry the picture.

7. plgladio

Posts: 314; Member since: Dec 05, 2011

Samsung should show this case to US judge, that Apple already infringed SIRI. I think to settle Zhizhen Network Technology, Apple gets money from Samsung. Why can't they give from their own pockets? That much lazy?

19. ardent1

Posts: 2000; Member since: Apr 16, 2011

My friends who are native Mandarin speakers tell me the video is blatant rip-off of Apple Siri commericals / promo materials. In the Apple commercial, SIRI is asked who are you and SIRI replies: "I am a humble personal assistant." In the video, the Chinese Voice Assistant goes over a lengthy CYA. Here's what my native Mandarin speakers were pointing out some of the Apple rip-offs or how Zhizhen cloned SIRI: (1) Female Voice (2) Microphone Icon along with very similar graphics and sounds (3) The answer layouts are remarkably similar to what Apple produces (4) The types of questions asked clearly mimic Apple If people had checked Wikipedia, it was clear SIRI was in the public domain as of February 2010. Siri, Inc. was founded in 2007 and SIRI uses technology that dating back to the 1960's, which predates the ZhiZhen's patent date. source: It would be nice if the android camp would take the time to look up the facts, but that requires work. We understand.

20. jroc74

Posts: 6023; Member since: Dec 30, 2010

Who had a working product first? Dont THEY BOTH use the technology from the 60's??? If thats the case....the Apple needs to pay MS for the Surface ripoff...the iPad. MS debuted a device loooong before the iPad. Just took them a loooong time to finish it. Talking about fact I knew some iFans were gonna come up with some off the wall theories.....

23. ardent1

Posts: 2000; Member since: Apr 16, 2011

jroc74, you say some of the dumbest things on this site. Do you not understand logic? You want people to believe that Apple that worked on the iPad in 2004 stole the idea from the MicroSoft Surface tablet introduced in 2012. As if Apple had a time machine and went into the future to steal from MicroSoft? Here's a fact, Apple submitted its design patent on 3/17/2004, which is almost 8 years ahead of the introduction of the Surface tablet. Source Also, why is it the android camp rarely leave sources so the other party can verify the known FACTS. jroc74, I want to thank you for embarassing yourself in the public domain.

25. thinking

Posts: 130; Member since: Jan 19, 2012

it is a fact that tablets were introduced by microsoft way before apple. ifans should check sources before posting nonsense.

31. ardent1

Posts: 2000; Member since: Apr 16, 2011

thinking, are smoking crack or something? The only nonsense is your inability to discern that jroc74 explicitedly and specifically wrote about the "Surface [tablet]". Also, it is a known FACT that microsoft's original tablet required a STYLUS. Apple's tablets are DIFFERENT because they don't require a stylus.

30. jroc74

Posts: 6023; Member since: Dec 30, 2010

As ususal with iFans.....they wanna dismiss anyone who isnt Apple. So predictible...Please look up Pixel Sense...and try again...... History "The idea for the product was initially conceptualized in 2001 by Steven Bathiche of Microsoft Hardware and Andy Wilson of Microsoft Research. In October 2001, DJ Kurlander, Michael Kim, Joel Dehlin, Bathiche and Wilson formed a virtual team to bring the idea to the next stage of development. In 2003, the team presented the idea to the Microsoft Chairman Bill Gates, in a group review. Later, the virtual team was expanded and a prototype nicknamed T1 was produced within a month. The prototype was based on an IKEA table with a hole cut in the top and a sheet of architect vellum used as a diffuser. The team also developed some applications, including pinball, a photo browser, and a video puzzle. Over the next year, Microsoft built more than 85 early prototypes. The final hardware design was completed in 2005." Again......"The final hardware design was completed in 2005." Again....who had a working model first......and look at when they started working on it.....MS had actual hardware available....looooong before the iPad. Do your self a favor....and go buy a clue. They might sell brains in the Apple App store.... iFans are so good at looking up Apple history....but not anyone elses...Btw....I like the fact you notice what I post on here...but rarely respond to it. Dont be I just like calling out iFans on their stupidity and arrogance.

32. ardent1

Posts: 2000; Member since: Apr 16, 2011

jroc74, you wrote about the Surface [tablet] that was introduced in 2012. DUH. Like I stated earlier, you like to say really dumb things. jroc74, here are your original words "...Apple needs to pay MS for the Surface ripoff". Per Wikipedia: "The product was announced by Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer at a Los Angeles event on June 18, 2012, at Milk Studios." (source: ) Again, the Surface Tablet was introduced in 2012 as I stated previously. jroc74, THANK YOU again for continuing to embarrass yourself in the public domain.

34. jroc74

Posts: 6023; Member since: Dec 30, 2010

Do I have to hold your hand for everything? Come on lil you go: "For a commercial surface computing platform formerly known as Microsoft Surface, see Microsoft PixelSense." "The product was renamed from "Microsoft Surface" to "Microsoft PixelSense" on June 18, 2012" Key phrase......wait for it.........FORMELY KNOWN AS. Was it a 7inch tablet back then? Dont really know.....but the idea was there, the launch was there...looong before the iPad. Look at the clip on wiki under PixelSense for a hands on demo. There were no pens with that giant computer...all touch dude...multi touch too. Read up on the technology involved with Surface....waaaay back then. I see you didnt buy a clue.....

24. thinking

Posts: 130; Member since: Jan 19, 2012

1. female voice? then if your office has a female receptionist, that should be a patent violation. 2. microphone icon? so what else should it be? and who made the microphone icon? Isn't that a violation of the real mike's patent? What does apple use to play music? a backward arrow? or a downward one? 3. you're just saying they're similar. that does not say who stole from whom. the point is apple stole it from zhizhen. How? Here's how. If you read the article above, you'll realise that apple removed the description of siri from its site following complaints from zhizhen. Now, tell me, if you make a great original product, why would you describe it with a translation from Mandarin describing what Zhizhen did with a very similar product? 4. What special kind of questions would you ask a voice assistant? And again, you're saying they're similar, not who copied from whom. See point 3 above.

33. ardent1

Posts: 2000; Member since: Apr 16, 2011

thinking, 1) Are you a sexist or misogynist? Why do you put woman down? In every company I worked at, there were both male and female receptionists. These were usually temp workers with sunny dispositions. SIRI is NOT a receptionist, "she" is a personal assistant. 2) The "microphone icon" that happens to look like SIRI's microphone with the same UI, the light that goes around the ring as well as the sound effects. If I did a double blind test on the microphone, and just asked people, they will most likely identify it with SIRI. 3) If you asked 100 objective android users, even they will admit this UI is incredibly similar to SIRI. Unless you can provide Xiaoi Bot's UI prior to Android 4.0, you got no legs to stand on as usual. 4) Most people would ask basic and random questions. The lack of randomness points to the mainland copying the industry standard. This is a point you don't understand, it is far easier to copy than to invent. Once Apple worked out the UI for SIRI, that makes it easier for the copycats to make the clones.

35. jos_031

Posts: 62; Member since: Jun 12, 2012

One software does not mean it just have one technology and one patent covers it all. SIRI might be using numerous implementation algorithm and features. So it requires multitude of patents to protect it. the patent in question was filled by ZhiZhen in 2003 and i think it is called little iRobot. And it does not care who made the product first in the case of patents unless another product exists prior to the application of patent which uses the same technology in question. The important thing is who comes up with the idea first, hence it is called intellectual property.

3. kunyuk

Posts: 56; Member since: Jun 29, 2012

Wow another karma for Cr@pple

15. bbblader

Posts: 590; Member since: Oct 24, 2011

karma's a b*tch but when you think of it so is apple

17. jroc74

Posts: 6023; Member since: Dec 30, 2010

This is so funny...on so many Karma.....isnt it sweet? I patiently await the iFans explanation about this one...

29. bayusuputra

Posts: 963; Member since: Feb 12, 2012

karma's bitch.. the sweet one is kurma..

6. zhypher_23

Posts: 195; Member since: Jun 04, 2012

Apple makes nearly nothing themselves. They buy/copy revamp.

8. plgladio

Posts: 314; Member since: Dec 05, 2011

Exactly! They say in the WWDC that first time in mobile APPLE uses this technology. For example SIRI but Xiaoi Bot is running from 2006

9. amiaq

Posts: 509; Member since: Jun 30, 2012

What ?? Apple is force to eat it own crap?? that's funny.. karma huh??

10. clevername

Posts: 1436; Member since: Jul 11, 2008

apple does own siri and is responsible for any patent violations but dont start thinking this is apple ripping off an android partner or anyone for that matter. siri started as an artificial intelligence project for DARPA. an offshoot of the CALO project. parrallel ideas at most but if there is any "chinese connection" (pardon the pun) it would have to be through Sir Ka-Shing Li, a hong kong billionaire who helped fund dag kittlaus during the founding of his company, named siri after the product of course.

11. Orbitman

Posts: 110; Member since: Oct 09, 2011

wow, they're even almost identical. Apple's gonna have some trouble with this one (hopefully) lol

12. Bluesky02

Posts: 1439; Member since: Dec 05, 2011

Good, second screwing case for Apple

13. Cerberusa2a

Posts: 33; Member since: May 24, 2012

*slow clap* way to be on the ball apple. Forget TV drama this is gold right here, the plot thickens.


Posts: 316; Member since: Jul 15, 2009

Wow China the country with largest pirate brands and software in the world suing for copy rights that's silly but even more ridiculous a bunch of fandrois defending a foreing company because they hate Apple......!!!!!!

26. thinking

Posts: 130; Member since: Jan 19, 2012

That is an insult to an entire country. Did you read the article. This looks like a clear case of a false patent on a stolen techology by apple. and china is where the iphones are made. so, i'm sure apple doesn't hate china all that much.

27. thinking

Posts: 130; Member since: Jan 19, 2012

and china also has some of the best brands including computing - think lenovo and huawei.

Latest Stories

This copy is for your personal, non-commercial use only. You can order presentation-ready copies for distribution to your colleagues, clients or customers at or use the Reprints & Permissions tool that appears at the bottom of each web page. Visit for samples and additional information.