Potter Voice Technologies (News - Alert), a provider of Interactive Voice Response (IVR) technologies, has filed patent infringement lawsuit against Apple, Google (News - Alert), and other cell phone manufacturers and technology firms.
The lawsuit, represented by attorneys from The Lanier Law Firm, includes claim against a group of 15 defendant companies accused of infringing Potter's U.S. Patent No. 5,729,659, which was issued by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office on March 17, 1998.
The patent covers technology used in Apple's (News - Alert) Siri and other electronic products that rely on voice commands to control computer functions.
“Apple's Siri and Google's Google Voice Actions make cell phones and other electronic devices much more useful for customers, but those products and others would never have been possible if not for the technology embodied in Potter's patent," according to Christopher Banys, intellectual property attorney of The Lanier Law Firm's office in Palo Alto (News - Alert), Calif.
"The defendants have collected a fortune using Potter's technology, and we are asking the court for at least a reasonable royalty based on their unauthorized use," Banys added.
Among other companies included in the infringement lawsuit are Sony, Microsoft (News - Alert), HTC, Samsung Electronics, LG Electronics, Kyocera, Sharp, Huawei, Pantech Wireless, Research in Motion, Nokia, ZTE and Motorola.
Interactive Voice Response (IVR) has long been a key tool for self-service and to allow the free flow of common information between a company and its customers. The arrival of Apple Siri gave IVR a whole new persona, changing the way we interact with technology and bringing artificial intelligence closer to the masses, TMCnet reported.
IVRs are still the most prevalent speech technologies and users will increasingly demand experiences that are more natural and intuitive. Those IVR vendors hoping to lead the industry will be able to readily respond to this demand, the report said.Siri can coax the user to ask the appropriate questions to provide the necessary answers, but the call center customer placing a call is rarely that specific. Siri also offers some deep ties into the user’s personal data, which is key to its success.
Edited by Juliana Kenny