Apple is engaged in yet ANOTHER trademark dispute in China. This time, the lawsuit involves the trademark “Snow Leopard,” which is the name of Apple’s operating system OS X 10.6 released in 2009. Jiangsu Xuebao, a Chinese company, alleges that it owns the Chinese trademark rights for “Xuebao.”
You may be thinking, but wait a minute how is that the same as “Snow Leopard.” Well, the Chinese word “Xuebao” literally translates to “Snow Leopard.”
Jiangsu Xuebao claims that Apple’s use of “Snow Leopard” confuses consumers because it also makes computer products and now demands about $80,000 from Apple. Back in 1998, Jiangsu Xuebao filed an application with the USPTO for the U.S. trademark rights to “Xuebao” (later abandoned). However, that application just stated that the trademark would be used in connection with goods such as dishwashing detergents, shampoos, scented soaps, shoe wax, and other similar products.
Considering that Apple just settled a trademark dispute with Proview over the rights to “iPad” in China for $60 million, Jiangsu Xuebao’s request doesn’t seem like much, but it does seem a little suspicious. The hearing for Apple and Jiangsu Xuebao will be on July 10th. Considering the large sum that Apple just paid to Proview, it will be interesting to see how this case turns out and whether more of these types of lawsuits pop up in China.