Apple is trying to trademark that leaf portion of its logo.
Apple's request to trademark the leaf was published by The Trademarks and Designs Registration Office of the European Union, according to Patently Apple. Apple's attorneys officially filed the application on 3 December.
The filing notes types of item where the logo cannot be used, these include obvious areas like computer hardware, computer software, music players, and tablets, as well as television (interesting), headgear, dog whistle (?), whips (??), hemline markers, egg-candlers (what are they?), electrified fences, clothes warmed up by electricity (sounds like a good idea), umbrellas, parasols and walking sticks.
Patently Apple has the complete list.
China is listed as a 'Priority' with an application there dating back to June.
Apple, obviously, owns the trademark for the whole of the Apple logo including the leaf, this filing suggests that it wishes to protect the leaf aspect from use with other logos in a way that might suggest some association with Apple.