Business Standard

Apple sued over Siri's natural language capacities

IANS  |  San Francisco 

Non-practicing entity Portal Communications has filed a lawsuit against for alleged infringement of three patents related to natural -- the being used by the iPhone-maker in its products in the form of the

According to tech website Appleinsider, in its filing with the District Court, Portal Communications said that the three related patents were invented by Dave Bernard, CEO of solutions firm The

All the patents titled "Multimodal natural language query system and architecture for processing voice and proximity-based queries," were transferred from The to Portal Communications in January.

The company alleged that Apple's infringes on each of the patents-in-suit, as the is capable of understanding -- or makes an attempt to understand -- natural language queries and returns their answers.

Portal Communications' complaint targets all and models, computers dating back to 2009, iPod touch, Watch Series 3, the fourth-generation TV, Apple TV 4K and HomePod.

"Along with devices not compatible with Siri, including iPhones older than the 4S and older than the third-generation model, the running 3.1 or later, but does not specify what programmes or technologies are in infringement. debuted with 5," the report said.

Apple purchased Siri in 2010 and integrated it into its products' hardware with 4S in 2011 -- nearly three years after one of the patents was granted.

The company expanded the voice assistant's capabilities to its other devices, including iPad, Mac, Apple Watch and its HomePod.

Each patent deals with methods of parsing user queries from natural language patterns into machine decipherable commands -- in the form of voice or text.

It also details the methods of further processing requests using location data, or other proximity information, to provide a context and environment for narrowing down a response.

Parsing is the method of receiving input in the form of sequential source programme instructions, interactive online commands, markup tags, or some other defined interface and then breaking them up into parts that can be managed by other programmes and return a meaningful response.

A non-practicing entity (NPE) is someone who holds a patent for a product or process but has no intentions of developing it.



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First Published: Sat, March 10 2018. 14:12 IST