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Apple this week was served with yet another far-out patent infringement lawsuit in which the plaintiff — an unequivocal patent troll known as Advanced Voice Recognition Systems (AVRS) — has accused the Cupertino tech-giant of infringing on its exclusive patent covering Siri-related voice mechanisms.
AVRS, Inc. announced on Thursday that it’s filed a lawsuit with the United States District Court for the Northern District for Arizona, firmly accusing the Silicon Valley tech-giant of infringing on its U.S. Patent No. 7,558,730.
The patent, one of several AVRS-owned patents covering similar concepts in the field of speech recognition and transcription, is described in the literature as “Speech Recognition and Transcription Among Users Having Heterogeneous Protocols.”
According to court documents first published by Patently Apple, AVRS asserts in its chief complaint that “Apple’s Siri, a voice-activated intelligent assistant which provides, among other things, voice recognition and natural language understanding solutions, and which is included in many Apple products such as the iPhone, iPad, Mac, Apple Watch, the Apple HomePod and the iOS, macOS, watchOS and tvOS operating systems,” infringes on the aforementioned ‘730 patent.
It’s not entirely clear what kind of damages, compensation or restitution AVRS is hoping to receive from Apple based on such broad claims. Looking closely at the patent being contested, which is written is purely technical terms, it’s not even clear how the technology AVRS is describing relates to Siri, at least on the grounds of infringement..
As 9to5mac notes, AVRS’ patent literature appears to merely acknowledge that “speech recognition is nothing new,” while describing various challenges associated with using some of the existing voice recognition protocols (like Dragon Naturally Speaking) in various environments.
From a contextual standpoint, AVRS could possibly argue how transcribing a message on a device like iPhone, for sending via Messages to a Mac, might be perceived as “exchanging generated speech information and/or transcribed spoken text among users who may employ different user protocols.” They could certainly try, much like all the other patent trolls who’ve claimed that Siri is a stolen product.