US technology giant Apple is facing more lawsuits in China, just after reaching a US$60 million settlement with Proview Technology for the use of the “iPad” name in China.
Chinese firm, Xuebao, is suing Apple for naming its operating system “Snow Leopard”. Xuebao, in Chinese, means “Snow Leopard”.
The Chinese-based company told media it has found evidence of 104 trademark infringements by Apple. The company says it registered 42 “Xuebao” trademarks under different categories since 1994.
Xuebao found out Apple had applied for the “Snow Leopard” trademark in China in 2008 but had been rejected.
The company suspects Apple is riding on its reputation in China and is asking for US$78,000 and a public apology from Apple.
Lawyers representing both Apple and Chinese firm Xuebao met for a short pre-trial conference on Tuesday and evidence is scheduled to be submitted at a later date.
At the same time, Apple may face another copyright suit by a Shanghai-based company which has accused Apple of infringing its patented voice recognition software with the Siri function on the iPhone.
Apple’s settlement with Proview Technology ($60 Million) was the biggest ever settlement in the history of mainland China’s trademark disputes and the case may be opening doors to even more lawsuits attempting to ride on its coattails.
And while the two upcoming claims are not huge in terms of the amount of compensation sought, analysts suggest Apple would want to put up a strong legal fight to avoid looking like easy bait.
Meanwhile, the legal pitfalls do show inadequacy in Apple’s knowledge of business law in China, highlighting differences in the commercial environment and legal standards here.