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After settling one case, Apple faces two more Chinese lawsuits

July 05, 2012|By Salvador Rodriguez
  • Having just paid $60 million to settle a case with one Chinese company, Apple is now being sued by two more.
Having just paid $60 million to settle a case with one Chinese company, Apple… (DIEGO AZUBEL/EPA )

For Apple in China, it's been one step forward and two steps back when it comes to lawsuits.

It's an old cliche, but nothing describes Apple's situation more accurately now that the Cupertino, Calif., tech giant has been sued by two more Chinese companies after having just come to a settlement with another.

Apple received lawsuits from Zhi Zhen Internet Technology on Thursday, claiming the company is infringing on its voice assistant service patents with Siri, and another lawsuit reported earlier in the week from Jiangsu Xeubao, which is going after Apple with claims that the company infringed on its trademark of Snow Leopard, the name of an OS Apple released in 2009.

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The two new lawsuits come after Apple agreed to pay $60 million to Proview Technology. That settled a two-year dispute between the companies regarding the trademark ownership of "iPad" in that country.

Zhi Zhen said it applied for a patent for its voice assistant software, called Ziao i Robot, back in 2004, and the company also says it sent Apple a complaint in May but received no response, according to a report by Dow Jones Newswires.

Since then, Apple announced it was adding Mandarin and Cantonese versions of Siri for its users in China, which may be the catalyst for Zhi Zhen's lawsuit.

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As for the Snow Leopard lawsuit, Jiangsu Xeubao said it is seeking more than $80,000 and an apology from Apple, for the alleged infringement on the Snow Leopard trademark by Apple.

The company said it registered the Chinese equivalent of Snow Leopard, "Xuebao," in 2000. The company says Apple attempted to register that word in 2008, but were rejected. Jiangsu Xeubao are using that as evidence of the infringement.

But as the Next Web points out, after paying $60 million to settle the iPad dispute, Apple may be OK with paying just $80,000 to make the Snow Leopard issue go away.

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