Apple

Apple, Others Face Patent Claim From Firm Over Hands-Free, Voice Operated Devices

Apple, Microsoft and Samsung are facing litigation from California-based SpeakWare that accuses the technology firms of patent infringement. The company claims the firms are using its 2002 patent for a hands-free, voice operated, remote-control transmitter, according to a report from CultofMac.com.

The suit, filed with the California Central District Court, claims that the companies use similar technology to control appliances through voice-activated systems, which, in Apple’s case, is found in Siri. According to the suit, Apple uses the infringing technology in various devices, including iPhones (6s or later), iPads (6th generation or later and Pro) and HomePods.

The complaint also references the Apple TV, which works in connection with the aforementioned devices to control appliances. Apple was named in a lawsuit earlier this month by a firm called Advanced Voice Recognition Systems, also alleging patent infringement.

According to a report in AppleInsider, Advanced Voice claims that Apple has been aware of the original technology at least since 2014, when it was cited in a patent application. Apple HomeKit was referenced in the court filing.

The suit claims that the original patent was listed as prior art in at least 46 patents and patent applications by Apple.

Apple has frequently been the subject of patent litigation. A suit filed in 2016 by Corydoras Technologies alleged that Apple infringed on six patents, including those related to the iPhone 4 and iPad models dating back to the iPad 2.

Apple previously had been the target in a patent suit filed by VirnetX, which had alleged violations in connection to iMessage and FaceTime. In 2016, after four years in court, judgment was ruled in favor of the plaintiff, to the tune of $626 million.

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