Apple nicked our Siri

Apple is being sued by a Taiwanese university which claims that the outfit stole its idea for a speech recognition system on a smartphone.

Taiwan’s National Cheng Kung University said that its suit claims Apple’s use of Siri in its iPhone and future versions of its iPad infringes two US patents it was granted in 2007 and 2010 that relate to voice-to-text technology.

According to Reutersthe University is suing in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Texas which is famous for favouring patent trolls because juries are keen to get home to their wives, cousins and favourite cow, which are often the same person.

Yama Chen, legal manager of National Cheng Kung, in the southern Taiwan city of Tainan, refused to say how much dosh the university was seeking but said any calculation would be based on Apple’s US sales of devices that use Siri.

To be fair to Apple, it is not the only company who the Taiwanese have in their sights. Chen said the university was also looking at the smartphone voice recognition systems used by Google and Microsoft have infringed its patents.

Western companies are starting to get a few kicks from Far Eastern companies who are using the US Patent system to get cash out of them.

Two small Chinese companies have filed suits against Apple in China. Jiangsu Xuebao claims it used the name Snow Leopard as the name of its computer operating system and Zhi Zhen Internet Technology claims it invented the voice assistant functions used in Siri.