Barely a day has passed by since Apple managed to get the “iPad” trademark issue off of it’s hands, settling it by offering Proview $60 million and already it finds itself in another lawsuit filed by another Chinese company, Jiangsu Xuebao, which claims, it owns the right to the brand name “Snow Leopard”. Not in English, but in Chinese.
The weird part is that the Chinese company in question is not even a tech company but is actually a household chemical company. It claims that back in 2000, it filed for the name “Xuebao”. This is the Chinese translation of “Snow Leopard”. So, the company does not own the rights to Snow Leopard directly.
“Snow Leopard” was one of the recent version of the Apple OS X family and it was launched back in 2009. Snow Leopard was replaced with OS X Lion and that again is set to be updated later this month with the OS X Mountain Lion. So, the Chinese company has actually filed a lawsuit against Apple now, for the use of the name “Snow Leopard” on a OS which came out more 3 years old.
This seems more like a way to extract some free funding for itself than a genuine case of concern over the use of a trademark. The $60 million settlement deal with Proview now seems to have the potential to set off a trend of sorts.
Fortunately for Apple, Jiangsu Xuebao is not greedy enough to demand millions from the billion dollar U.S. company but will be satisfied with a tiny settlement fee of $80,645 along with an official apology from Apple.
The Shanghai court, where the lawsuit was filed is scheduled to hold a hearing on the case, on July 10. From the looks of the comparatively tiny settlement fee, it might even be possible that Apple might settle this case outside the court.