Shanghai Zhizhen Intelligent Network Technology Co., Ltd. (上海智臻智能网络科技公司 also known as Xiaoi Robot), according to the Shanghai Security News, sued Apple for 10 billion RMB (~$1.4 billion USD) on August 3, 2020 at the Shanghai High People’s Court. The lawsuit for patent infringement claims Apple infringed Chinese patent no. ZL200410053749.9, which China’s Supreme People’s Court affirmed as valid in June, 2020.
Chinese invention patent ZL200410053749.9 was applied for in 2004 and was granted in 2009 and covers chatbots. In 2011, Apple launched Siri on its iPhone. In June 2012, Xiaoi Robot filed a lawsuit with the Shanghai No. 1 Intermediate People’s Court, suing Apple Computer Trading (Shanghai) Co., Ltd. for patent infringement. Subsequently, Apple filed an application with the Patent Reexamination Board of the State Intellectual Property Office for the invalidation of the patent. After 8 years of litigation re validity, on June 28, 2020, Xiaoi Robot received the Supreme People’s Court (2017) Supreme Court No. 34 Administrative Judgment confirming the validity of the patent.
Besides the 10 billion RMB in damages, Xiaoi Robot also asked for an injunction. While preliminary injunctions are rarely granted in China, permanent injunctions are.