BEAUMONT, Texas (Legal Newsline) -- Apple Inc. has agreed to settle a patent lawsuit with Dot 23 Technologies Inc. that alleged Apple’s Siri voice assistant technology violated three patents. The terms of the settlement have not been publicly disclosed.
Dot 23 Technologies, based in McKinney, Texas, notified the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Texas it would dismiss its claims for patent infringement, while Apple said it would dismiss any counterclaims.
In January, Dot 23 Technologies filed suit against Apple, alleging its Siri voice recognition technology on iPhone products infringed upon three patents granted between 2002 and 2007 to inventor Byard G. Nilsson, which were assigned to Mobile Telephone Technology, then transferred to Dot 23 last September.
The infringement complaint related to technology that can recognize and process spoken alphanumeric characters in voice dialing, as well as geolocation technology that allows users to ask an automated service for geographic information. Apple products mentioned in the Dot 23 Technologies complaint include iPhone 4, iPhone 5, and iPhone 6. Apple has used Siri technology in its smartphones since 2011.
There was no evidence in Dot 23 Technologies’ complaint, however, that Apple had prior knowledge of the three patents before incorporating the voice recognition technology.
Between 2010 and 2013, Apple has been the subject of 92 lawsuits by patent assertion entities or patent trolls.
“The Dot 23 case, like other actions from so-called patent trolls, is a symptom of what some believe to be a broken patent approval and litigation process,” Mikey Campbell, senior editor of AppleInsider.com, told the Southeast Texas Record. "Apple has the resources to weather the onslaught of non-practicing entities looking to capitalize on bought intellectual property but the same can’t be said of smaller companies and startups whose products and services stoke innovation.”
Prior to the Dot 23 Technologies complaint, Apple agreed in April to pay $24 million to Dallas-based Dynamic Advances to settle a Siri-related lawsuit.
The U.S. Supreme Court in June ruled that a 2011 law designed to make it easier to defeat new patent trolls was legal. The 2011 law created quicker and cheaper procedures for contesting patents in front of the Patent Office instead of in front of a federal judge.