China's State Intellectual Property Office rejected Apple's request to invalidate a Shanghai-based company's patent that Apple claimed was too similar to its own voice-driven Siri technology. Apple then sued the State Intellectual Property Office and Zhizhen Network Technology, the firm that owns a voice recognition software called "Xiao i." A Beijing Intermediate People's Court heard the case on Feb. 27. The hearing, which lasted over five hours, didn't lead to a decision by the court, according to ZDNet.
In November 2012, Apple requested the Patent Reexamination Board of the State Intellectual Property Office to invalidate the patent of Zhizhen's "Xiao i" on the grounds that it lacked "novelty and creativity." Apple alleged the Chinese patent also did not have a detailed description of its specifications. The request was denied in September 2013, which prompted Apple to take further legal action.
The Feb. 27 trial saw Apple's attorney requesting an overturn of the previous decision by the State Intellectual Property Office, asserting it would be crucial in the ongoing patent dispute between Zhizhen and Apple. A co-founder of "Xiao i" said Apple's evidence and defense opinion were not different than they had been in the past, and that the outcome would not likely be different either, according to ZDNet.