Apple seems likely to engage in a new round of intellectual property enforcement, as disk images of the developer-only Leopard Preview are leaking online.

It appears one or more developers may have moved fast to break the non-disclosure agreement with Apple they signed when they received the software at WWDC this week.

Links to screenshots and download destinations that claim to link to the software are already discoverable using Google.

However, Macworld checks now indicate that these links could be connected to a pre-release Leopard build that leaked after WWDC last year. Some links tracked-down today appear to relate to this previous preview version of Mac OS X 10.5. Inevitably, such confusion is rife in the murky world of BitTorrent websites.

While hard evidence hasn't yet emerged, such leaks have taken place in the past. Similar pre-release leaks of the Mac OS X 10.4 Preview distributed to developers in 2004 saw the company forced to issue lawsuits against developers who it accused of letting its big cat out of the bag.

Apple launched a number of cases at that time. In one case, 22-year-old Doug Steigerwald agreed to pay an unspecified amount of damages in an out-of-court settlement.

At that time, the company said: "While Apple will always protect its innovations, it is not our desire to send students to jail. We are pleased that Mr. Steigerwald has taken responsibility for his actions and that we can put this lawsuit behind us."

Steigerwald also issued a public apology for his actions.