Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) has been named, along with all of the nation’s major mobile phone companies, in a lawsuit by a Colorado shell company accusing them of violating a patent it holds related to voice technology. Potter Voice LLC says it holds a patent for an invention in which “oral input is used to control a digital computer,” and is singling out Apple’s Siri voice assistant.
The lawsuit also mentions Samsung and Sony (NYSE:SNE), whose phones use Google’s (NASDAQ:GOOG) Voice Actions technology; Research In Motion (NASDAQ:RIMM), for its BlackBerry Voice commands; and Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT), for its Speech Commands. Potter Voice LLC says the patent was issued to one Jerry Potter in 1998.
The computing industry, and especially the mobile industry, has constantly been bombarded lately by patent battles both big and small. Companies are in the process of suing each other across continents over various smartphone hardware and software issues, and are also continually facing legal action from shell companies and hedge funds whose sole reason for owning such patents is to squeeze major tech firms for cash.
Apple chief executive Tim Cook is growing tired of all the nonsense. His company is currently battling Samsung, Motorola (NYSE:MMI), and HTC in various cases and counter cases. “I’ve always hated litigation,” Cook complained during a post-earnings conference call on Tuesday, saying he just wanted “people to invent their own stuff.”