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Reuters reports that a Chinese court has rejected Apple’s attempt to dismiss a claim by local company Zhizhen Internet Technology that Siri infringed its speech-recognition patent.

Zhizhen Internet Technology first alleged in 2012 that Apple’s Siri technology copied parts of its Xiao i Robot software, with pre-trial proceedings taking place last year. Apple said that it had not been aware of the patent when work began on Siri, and asked China’s State Intellectual Property Office to declare the patent invalid.

The Chinese patent office declined Apple’s request, leading Apple to file suit against it. It is this suit that has been rejected, leaving Zhizhen free to pursue its case against Apple.

Apple has said it intends to appeal to the Beijing Higher People’s Court, but suggested that a settlement might be reached by adding that “we remain open to reasonable discussions with Zhizhen.”

The backend for Siri was originally developed by Nuance, the company behind Dragon Dictate, though there have been persistent rumors that Apple plans to replace this with its own technology.

Image credit: forbes.com

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