Apple has agreed to pay $24.9 million to settle a lawsuit against Siri. According to the lawsuit, Siri violated a patent that was owned by a New York institute and it was also exclusively licensed to a company situated in Dallas. The patent is four years older than Siri.
According to Albany Business Review, Apple was not sued by Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute instead the allegation was made by Dallas-based Dynamic Advances which has licenced the patent. The patent is owned by Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. The Polytechnic Institute’s patent application was granted in 2007. On the other hand, Dynamic Advances will be receiving $5M as soon as the case ends.
The remaining balance will be given after completion of a few unspecified conditions. Apple has agreed to pay the $24.9 million settlement on conditions that it will be allowed to continue using Siri on its device. The tech company also wants assurance that it will be safe from getting sued on the same patent again. This condition is supposed to last for the next three years at least. Dynamic Advances expects to pocket half of the settlement amount. The remaining half will be used pay Rensselaer and its lawyers, along with other entities involved in the case.
The patent lawsuit was set to go to trial next month in New York. But the plaintiff is required to drop the case completely if it agrees to the settlement terms. So it will no longer proceed. But that still might not be the end of this patent lawsuit…
According to the terms of the deal, 50% of the settlement pay will be handed over to Rensselaer. But the issue is that while Dynamic Advances is on board, Rensselaer has not agreed to the terms. The company released a document stating that the issue ‘may have to be resolved in arbitration.’
It is interesting that Apple has agreed to settle the Siri patent trial considering Siri was not developed by Apple itself. Siri’s speech-recognition engine was created by Nuance Communications, the company behind Dragon Dictate. By the looks of it, the patent seems to be general but it is possible that Apple was sued because it relates to the AI behind answering the queries.