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Not Guilty Verdict For Alexa

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November 3, 2021

In 2016, IPA,, a subsidiary of Canadian patent-licensing company WiLAN, sued Amazon in Delaware Federal Court for allegedly infringing its digital-assistant patents. The suit was decided on Oct. 28, when U.S. District Judge Richard Andrews ruled that Alexa’s technology for recognizing and responding to speech doesn’t function the same way as the patented technology. Andrews had earlier ruled that three related patents in the case were invalid because they were directed to the abstract idea of retrieving and transmitting data in response to a spoken request. Amazon argued that Alexa doesn’t infringe the two remaining patents because it doesn’t use the same method of communicating among “electronic agents.” The judge agreed, finding that Alexa’s inter-agent language doesn’t include the “layer of conversational protocol” that the patent describes and is a “format” instead of a “language.”

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