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China company sues Apple over Snow Leopard trademark

Shades of the Proview case? Household chemicals maker Jiangsu Xuebao claims to own the Snow Leopard trademark -- well, the Chinese translation, anyway.


Apple had hardly any time to breathe after settling with Proview before it was hit with another trademark infringement case in China.

Chinese tech site MIC Gadget reported yesterday that a household chemical company called Jiangsu Xuebao has sued Apple in Shanghai for allegedly infringing its "Snow Leopard" trademark. The company doesn't own "Snow Leopard" itself, but in 2000 filed for the Chinese translation, "Xuebao."

Apple used the Snow Leopard moniker in one of its more recent Mac OS X distributions, launched in 2009. The company replaced that with Lion, and later this month, will launch Mountain Lion. So, while Jiangsu Xuebao seems concerned with Apple's use of the name, it's odd that it would file its case now.

But perhaps it's not so odd. Apple earlier this week settled its protracted trademark infringement case with Proview over use of the iPad name for $60 million. Seeing that, it's possible that Jiangsu Xuebao believes that it might be able to eke out its own payday.

However, according to MIC Gadget, Jiangsu Xuebao isn't trying to cash in so much: it's only seeking $80,645 and an official apology from Apple.

According to MIC Gadget, the Shanghai court is scheduled to hold a hearing on the case on July 10.

CNET has contacted Apple for comment on the claim. We will update this story when we have more information.