Apple accused of stealing another Chinese trademark

Just after Apple had to write a big cheque for nicking the name “iPad” from a Chinese company, it seems that another company from behind the Great Wall claims it owns the rights to the words “snow leopard”.

Last week Apple paid US$60 million to Proview Technology for the rights to the “iPad” name and now another Chinese company wants US$80,000 from Apple for stuffing up its Snow Leopard trademark.

Jiangsu Xuebao, which makes household chemicals, registered a copyright for the Chinese translation of “Snow Leopard” in 2000.

According to the Sydney Morning Herald, when Apple tried to register the “Xuebao” trademark in 2008 for use in selling Snow Leopard in Chinese stores, it was rejected by China’s trademark office. In the end Apple has not used the “Xuebao” translation to sell Snow Leopard on its official Chinese language website.

But Jiangsu Xuebao also sells electronic equipment, such as touchscreens. Those devices bring the company into the same sphere of operations as Apple.

Xuebao wants a formal apology from Apple on top of the financial compensation. It has also sued four other Chinese companies who market and sell Apple’s Snow Leopard operating system.

It is not clear how far the case will go. According to its founder Steve Jobs, Apple has a history of stealing other people’s ideas and lately the company has started suing others for stealing things it claims it thought of.