Apple Hit with Patent Lawsuit Over Siri Features

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Apple has hit with a lawsuit on Wednesday from Dot 23 Technologies alleging the iPhone and iPad maker's Siri feature infringes on three of its patents. Dot 23 is just a patent holding company, so it's no surprise the case was filed in the Eastern District Court in Texas—a favorite for patent trolls.

Dot 23 sues Apple over Siri featuresDot 23 sues Apple over Siri features

According to the lawsuit, Apple is infringing on U.S. patents 6,405,029, 6,917,802, and 7,245,903 covering geolocation and voice dialing features. Dot 23 named the iPhone 4, iPhone 5, and iPhone 6 along with Siri as infringing products.

The company used the lawsuit as notification of infringement, which implies Apple didn't have prior knowledge of the patents in question. The patents were originally granted to Byard G. Nilsson between 2002 and 2007, were later transferred to Mobile Telephone Technology, and finally to Dot 23 in September 2015.

Dot 23 is calling out Siri features such as the ability to say, "Hey Siri, call 303-867-5309," and "Hey Siri, find me coffee shops in Boulder."

The fact that Dot 23 filed its case in Federal Court in the Eastern District in Texas isn't any surprise. The court is a favorite for patent holding companies because of its reputation for siding with them.

Dot 23 is asking the court for damages, interest, and other fees. Apple hasn't responded to the case yet.

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This sure looks like another patent troll case and Dot 23 may be hoping for an out of court settlement because that's the easiest way to make money in a situation like this. Considering Apple's usual tactics, however, Dot 23 better be ready to spend some time in the court room.

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I have only browsed the first patent, but it looks like it’s describing a way to limit liability of phone owners from misuse of stolen phones.  He also describes voice recognition of phone numbers.  I will say his language is very difficult to wade through.  A “mobile telephone instrument”?

The voice recognition is covered by previous work.  Voice recognition in a small device is easily predicted from voice recognition on desk top systems, which Apple has had for a while, and Moore’s Law, that processing power shrinks exponentially with time.  Therefore, any that is already done on a regular computer is fair game for a cell phone.

I also don’t believe he actually built the thing.  Talking about voice recognition is one thing, building it is another.  The same goes for security protocols.  I’m not sure that the latter is patentable, either, though specific implementations of it are.


Pulls hair out.  “The risk of loosing a wireless telephone instrument ...”.  Which attorney reviewed this patent and didn’t catch this? 

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