For Apple Inc. 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 reached a settlement with another.
Apple was sued Thursday by Zhi Zhen Internet Technology, which alleged that Apple's Siri is infringing on its voice assistant service patents, and earlier in the week by Jiangsu Xuebao, which alleged that Apple infringed on its trademark of Snow Leopard, the name of an operating system Apple released in 2009.
The two new lawsuits come after Apple agreed to pay $60 million to Proview Technology to settle a two-year dispute over ownership of the iPad trademark in China.
Zhi Zhen said it applied for a patent for its voice assistant software, Ziao i Robot, in 2004, and that it sent Apple a complaint in May but received no response, according to a Dow Jones Newswires report.
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.
As for the Snow Leopard lawsuit, Jiangsu Xuebao 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 said Apple tried to register that word in 2008 but was turned down. Jiangsu Xuebao cites that as evidence of the infringement.
Apple declined to comment on the lawsuits.
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