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macrumors bot
Apr 12, 2001
Apple Lawyers Strike Back at Valleywag Over Tablet Bounty

Yesterday, Valleywag received considerable attention for its questionably legal offer of up to $100,000 for legitimate information on Apple's much-anticipated tablet device. It didn't take long for Apple's lawyers to respond to the offer, with Michael Spillner of Apple's law firm Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe sending Valleywag and Gawker a cease-and-desist letter requesting that the contest be discontinued by 6:00 PM Pacific time today.
As your offer acknowledges, Apple has maintained the types of information and things you are soliciting -- "how it'll work, its size, the name, the software", as well as any possible details about the product's appearance, features, and physical samples -- in strict confidence. Anyone who might have access to such information would be bound under the strictest contractual obligations not to disclose the information to third parties.
To that end, Spillner cites California law prohibiting the inducement of disclosure of trade secrets, putting Gawker Media "on notice" that the information it is seeking to obtain is a trade secret and thus disclosure of such information would violate California law. In addition to the demand that Gawker Media end the competition, Apple also requests that Gawker turn over any confidential materials it may have received or may yet receive and refrain from publishing or sharing them.

For its part, Valleywag has not ended its contest, instead reiterating its position that tipsters should "stay within the bounds of the law" and use anonymous e-mail addresses to prevent identification. It has also named Spillner the first "winner" of the contest for offering "the most concrete evidence yet" that an Apple tablet is under development.

Article Link: Apple Lawyers Strike Back at Valleywag Over Tablet Bounty

manu chao

macrumors 604
Jul 30, 2003
Sounds like a confirmation to my optimistic side.
Exactly, if something is a trade secret it must exist. If Apple had no piece of hardware which could be meant with the term 'tablet', this nothing could not be a trade secret.


macrumors regular
Jan 14, 2010
Seems childish on Valleywags' part. If they were smart they'd close the contest and call it a day.


macrumors 68030
Oct 2, 2007
so, if someone had knowledge that was confidential....they don't HAVE to disclose that info to Valleywag. this is stupid but whatever.


macrumors regular
Jul 23, 2002
Berkeley, CA
Valleywag is really playing with fire here. Intentional interference in contracts is one of the most serious torts, with precedence for extremely high damage awards.


macrumors 6502a
Oct 23, 2007
I think they've done what they set out to do... Confirmation by apple of the existence of a tablet. Job done :)


macrumors Penryn
Jul 11, 2003
They have accomplished what they set out to do. They likely also picked up thousands of new readers.


Dec 10, 2009
Ha! Either strategically or inadvertantly, Apple confirms all the rumors! Roll on Jan 27th!


macrumors 6502a
Jul 25, 2006
San Francisco Bay Area
With Spillner's inside connections, he could probably get a photo of Jobs using the tablet and earn a cool fifty grand! And probably be blacklisted for the rest of his life...

But seriously, the fact that Apple pounced on this so quickly pretty much confirms that it exists! It's wrapped in legal-speak, but they'r basically saying that Apple employees are under NDAs, so don't tempt them! And if they DO receive any materials, let Apple know and do NOT publish them!

Yea, if I were Jobs/Apple, I would be pissed if someone took the steam out of this hype machine!


macrumors 68040
Dec 31, 2007
Milwaukee Area
I almost wonder sometimes if this is all hype internally being created by Steve Jobs.

It would be a genius move, in my opinion. :eek:

Forget genius, he'd be omnipotent, controlling companies and people which neither he nor his company have anything to do with.

And since omnipotence and omniscience are fundamentally incompatible...


macrumors 65816
Sep 20, 2002
Super funny.

I am glad they got that, they can't pay people to steal stuff from Apple.
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