Apple faces more IP litigation in China
Apple has been hit with two new IP lawsuits in China
Shanghai-based Zhi Zhen Network Technology has filed a patent infringement claim against the iPhone maker, according to the Dow Jones Newswire. A Zhi Zhen spokesperson said that Apple’s Siri voice command technology violates the company’s patents. Zhi Zhen develops a software product called Xiao i Robot (小i机器人) that responds to spoken questions and instructions, similar to Siri.
The California-based company is also defending itself against a new trade mark complaint. cnYes reports that Jiangsu Xuebao Daily Chemical Company (江蘇雪豹日化公司) has alleged that Apple’s Snow Leopard operating system software violates its trade marks. The company states that it has registered the mark “雪豹”, which is Chinese for snow leopard in 42 classes starting in 1994, including computer products. The Chinese term for snow leopard is also part of the company name.
The Jiangsu Xuebao also claims that Apple tried to register the “Snow Leopard” mark in 2008 but was rejected by the State Administration for Industry and Commerce due to its existing marks. The company is seeking an order to stop Apple from using the mark, RMB500,000 ($78,545) in damages, and a public apology.
Apple has named recent versions of its operating systems after big cats. Version 10.6 was named Snow Leopard, while 10.5 carried the Leopard moniker. The current version is called Lion.
Both cases came after Apple announced that it had settled its dispute over the iPad trade mark in China for $60 million. Though many attorneys thought that it was a reasonable amount to settle the case, some expressed concern that other Chinese companies would be encouraged to bring more IP claims against Apple.