“This is actually a patent that Apple owns and it’s referred to as the Siri patent because it doesn’t actually have anything to do with Siri, but it’s now seen as a lynch pin in protecting Siri. Apple, in 2004, applied for a patent that basically said: We want to create one interface to search across multiple databases. So at that point, as you’ll remember, Google had a search engine that would let you search the Web. And what Apple said is: In this patent — and this was before the iPhone, this is before Siri — we’re going to create one box that you can type in a term like ‘Terry Gross’ and we’re going to search the Internet and the contacts on your computer at the same time.
“They didn’t explain how this searching would happen, they didn’t explain how the software would work, they just explained what the outcome would be. They won that patent last year. It was finally granted to them after being denied nine different times. … And as a result, they’re in a position where they can credibly claim that they own any kind of search engine on Earth that searches more than one database at once.”