A COMPANY based in Jiangsu Province is suing Apple Inc, claiming that the latter's Snow Leopard operating system has the same Chinese name as its registered trademark.

The Jiangsu Xuebao Consumer Goods Company is seeking 500,000 yuan (US$78,759) compensation and a public apology. Tong Yu, the company's chairman, said he registered 42 Xuebao trademarks under different categories since 1994. Xuebao means snow leopard in English.

Tong said the company had developed a series of computer-related products under the trademark and accused Apple of making profits from its reputation in China.

Tong told the Modern Express newspaper that Apple had applied for the Snow Leopard trademark in China in 2008 but had been rejected.

The Jiangsu company said it had evidence of 104 trademark infringements by Apple.

Four other companies, including two Shanghai companies, are also being sued for promoting and selling the Snow Leopard operating system.

The case is to be heard by the Pudong New Area People's Court in Shanghai next Tuesday.

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