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back to article Siri sued again as Taiwan uni cries foul over patents

Apple’s know-it-all voice-operated assistant Siri is in more legal trouble after a Taiwanese university launched a patent infringement lawsuit against it in a Texas court. Taiwan’s National Cheng Kung University is alleging that the iPhone service infringes two voice-to-text patents granted to it in the US in 2007 and 2010. …

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Anyone ever think

That there's a couple lawyers who've hidden themselves in every manufacturing R&D facility, who feed each other info just so several years down the line they can launch a legal case?

So many inventions coming out at the exact same time. Anyone would think these are obvious avenues that all companies are moving towards

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Re: Anyone ever think

I don't think you'd ever catch a lawyer acting so dishonestly.

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Horsepucky

"I don't think you'd ever catch a lawyer acting so dishonestly."

Since 93% of politicians are lawyers, care to reconsider your position?

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Trollface

Re: Horsepucky

I don't think he said "No lawyers act dishonestly"

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Anyone ever think

You'd better not even think about pulling this sort of trick. There's a major tech company out there who already holds the rights to "method and apparatus for generating publicity and legal fees by means of disseminating information to third-party developers", and you most certainly do not want to fall afoul of them.

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Re: Anyone ever think

Yeah catching them at it is hard as they're pros.

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Re: Horsepucky

What's the percentage of Register commentators who are incapable of recognizing humor?

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Other cases?

"It's also looking at whether voice recognition tech from Microsoft and Google may also have infringed its patents...."

Hmm, dunno about Google, but I reckon MS are in the clear. Their antiquated Voice Commander product for the old WinMo platform was around well before 2007. It's also far and away the best for both recognition of speech and pronunciation on readback of anything I've ever used on a mobile device.

Dear MS: Port to Android? Pretty please? I'll even pay for it.......

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So, what does a developer without deep pockets do?

Your average small developer doesn't have a chance, especially when he or she comes up with something new. It doesn't matter if the lawsuits are correct or not, few have the money to survive the costs of the lawyers involved and the game is so rigged that without a lawyer you are certain to lose.

Avoid the US like the proverbial plague?

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Re: So, what does a developer without deep pockets do?

"Avoid the US like the proverbial plague?"

While I completely agree with you, this story is actually about Taiwan.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: So, what does a developer without deep pockets do?

Not really. They are suing under USA law in some remote place called Texas. It could be there is a Texas in Taiwan of course. The lawyer even explained why Texas and this is about alleged infringements by a USA company and sales in the USA.

Perhaps USA is part of Taiwan if the suer is from Taiwan? I daresay most Americans think Taiwan is part of the USA:

RTA.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: So, what does a developer without deep pockets do?

"this story is actually about Taiwan."

...it actually involves a US company being sued in the US for infringement of a US patent that just happens to have been filed by a Taiwanese organisation. Three of those 4 facts are significantly more important than the fourth.

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Re: So, what does a developer without deep pockets do?

Just accept you have no chance, or suffer and die just like Microsoft, Apple and all lhe other big corporates and even the US gov want.

The corps always try and kill all forms of competition.

The US gov just wants everyone to work for someone else rather than be self-employed/entrepreneurial.

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Unhappy

Re: So, what does a developer without deep pockets do?

I don't think it's as bad as all that since it's unlikely you're a big enough threat but you do need patents in the off chance that you really are good enough for them to feel threatened. Oh, you can't really fight but maybe you can sell the patents to the highest bidder, probably a troll. Either that or try to become a patent troll on your own. I know, sad ain't it.

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Anonymous Coward

This is your reminder to call the vet

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ha ha ha ha ha - this will fly over most peoples heads

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Hahaha - yes, I listen to BBC's Radio 4 Now Show too :)

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FAIL

Orange Assistant

what about Orange assistant......that was around way before any of these. I cannot remember the date it started, but it was taken out of action sometime in 2004.

It allowed you to use your voice to call people, do simple searches of address book, cannot remember what else it did......but remember thinking wow this is really good!

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Does anyone know what the patents actually are?

I looked at the linked article and couldn't find any text. Is this actually something that should be a patent (I am doubtful, but who knows?) or is it just something obvious that some group filed first?

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Big Brother

Re: Does anyone know what the patents actually are?

A way for big companies to block any form of innovation! (who says I'm cynical)

Given the number of computers that have voice commands on SciFi films, doesn't this lot fail prior art or the obvious to practioner tests?

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Re: Does anyone know what the patents actually are?

Given the number of computers that have voice commands on SciFi films, doesn't this lot fail prior art or the obvious to practioner tests?

The patent in question is no doubt for a specific algorithm for speech recognition or voice-to-text. (It's not that uncommon to patent natural-language-processing algorithms in the US; IBM patented their Latent Semantic Analysis technique, for example, though frankly I don't know that many people wanted to use it anyway.)

Obviously there's prior art for SR and VTT in general. People have already mentioned a couple of examples in the comments above. OS/2 Warp's SR feature is another; it was also widely advertised in the US.

So no, saying "hey, some SF writers described something vaguely like this" is not a plausible prior-art challenge to a patent. Nor is some technology that accomplishes something broadly similar. The question is how it's done; what's patented is the method, not the outcome.

Nor is it necessarily obvious to the practitioner. If you do all your SR with Hidden Markov Models, then Support Vector Machines are hardly obvious to you, are they? (No, they are not.)

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Anonymous Coward

Follow Apples lead.

Ban the sale of all iPhones in the US until the case is decided. Isn't that the traditional Apple approach?

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Re: Follow Apples lead.

And follow it up with widely distributed public comments about how you think other companies shouldn't steal your stuff.

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Trollface

Just how helpful is Siri?

Siri, compile a list of all the patents you violate and email it to my lawyer.

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