Amazon Ordered to Pay $46.7 Million in Voice Patent Dispute

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A jury in Delaware last week ordered Amazon to pay $46.7 million in damages, finding that its Alexa virtual assistant violated speech recognition and natural language processing patents belonging to VB Assets.

VB Assets, previously known as VoiceBox Technologies, was acquired by Nuance Communications in 2018. The company in its feaderal lawsuit, filed in 2019, claimed to have already invented a circular speaker that could connect to the web and answer voice-dictated prompts with a female voice.

VB Assets accused Amazon of infringing on patents covering voice-based search technology, including network-coordinated conversational services, a conversational voice user interface, and a process for connecting ads to natural language processing of voice inputs from users.

Amazon introduced Alexa in 2014 and has since integrated the voice assistant in other devices and mobile apps.

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