In the ongoing “war of the worlds” patent litigation between Apple and Samsung/Google, the Cupertino company has said it will amend its patent infringement claims to include the Galaxy S4. That’s according to Foss Patents, which also reports that Apple asserts Google Now infringes two patents associated with Siri.
Overall, there are five patents being asserted in the amended Apple pleadings (below). The Siri-related patents are U.S. Patent No. 8,086,604 and U.S. Patent No. 6,847,959, which pertain to a “universal interface for retrieval of information in a computer system.”
Apple is the assignee of the two Siri-related patents, which were originally filed in 2000 and 2004. The two inventors listed on the patents, Yan Arrouye and Keith Mortensen, are long-time Apple employees. Thus, it doesn’t appear the IP is from SRI, which gave birth to Siri before Apple acquired it. (There are other “assistants” to come out of SRI post-Siri, as well.)
Both patents in question share the same abstract:
The present invention provides convenient access to items of information that are related to various descriptors input by a user, by means of a unitary interface which is capable of accessing information in a variety of locations, through a number of different techniques. Using a plurality of heuristic algorithms to operate upon information descriptors input by the user, the present invention locates and displays candidate items of information for selection and/or retrieval. Thus, the advantages of a search engine can be exploited, while listing only relevant object candidate items of information.
Reading and interpreting patents is not my favorite thing to do. But, broadly speaking, these patents do seem to implicate Google Now. They’re not limited to mobile as far as I can tell and would also touch on Google’s “Now cards” on the PC, as well.
Google Now is available on Android, IOS devices and soon on the PC. The structured data cards presented by Google Now appear in PC search results already. It’s not entirely clear what Apple wants with Google Now: licensing revenue or an injunction to stop Google Now entirely?
I can tell you that Apple is unlikely to get an injunction against Google Now, and the company doesn’t really need the licensing revenue. Maybe Apple lawyers feel compelled to assert every possible claim they deem applicable.
Below are the court documents courtesy of Foss Patents.