Why is Apple in ANOTHER Legal Battle in China?

Just as Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) closes one suit in China, another is being brought against the iPad maker by a chemical company that owns the rights to the Chinese language translation of “Snow Leopard.”

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Jiangsu Xuebao (Jiangsu Snow Leopard Daily Chemical Co.), a Chinese maker of household chemicals like detergents and toothpaste, registered for the “Xuebao (雪豹)” trademark in 2000, some nine years before Apple released the seventh major version of its OS X operating system under the name “Snow Leopard,” according to a report from M.I.C. Gadget.

The company is suing Apple for 500,000 RMB, about $80,645, and an apology. However, the company doesn’t have much of a case since Apple never used “Xuebao” or the Chinese characters to sell the software in China. Jiangsu Xuebao is also filing suit against four other companies that advertise and sell OS X Snow Leopard.

Jiangsu Xuebao used the trademark to market a touchscreen ad display and a mobile EPR software suite. In 2008, Apple was denied its request for the “Xuebao” name by the Chinese trademark office, according to the Chinese company’s chief executive, who goes on to say that the rejection was due to Jiangsu Xuebao’s existing trademark and that the trademark office’s decision is proof of the violation. Interestingly, Jiangsu Xuebao’s website lists the company as having been established in 2002, two years after it filed for the”Xuebao” name.

A Shanghai court has agreed to hear the case, which is scheduled to start on July 10.

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