Apple Sues Over Leak

kjr39

macrumors 6502
Original poster
Nov 26, 2004
374
3
Apple suing over Web Leak of Products

SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - Apple Computer Inc. (Nasdaq:AAPL - news) is suing anonymous people who leaked details about new products by posting information on the Internet, court documents showed on Friday.

Apple's complaint, filed with the Santa Clara County California Superior Court, comes only weeks ahead of the Macworld conference in San Francisco, the annual show where CEO Steve Jobs (news - web sites) unveils the latest Apple products.

Apple is notoriously secretive about its product plans, while many fan sites routinely discuss what may be in store, including posting pictures of real products and hoaxes.

The complaint alleges that "an unidentified individual, acting alone or in concert with others, has recently misappropriated and disseminated through Web sites confidential information about an unreleased Apple product."

Apple said in the seven-page civil complaint, filed on Dec. 13, that it did not know the "true names or capacities, whether individual, associate, corporate or otherwise," of the defendants. Once they have been discovered, the Cupertino, California-based company said it would amend the complaint.

It was not the first time Apple has gone after fanatics who have posted information about upcoming products on the Internet.

In December 2002, Apple sued a former contractor who allegedly posted drawings, images and engineering details of the company's PowerMac G4 computer in July of that year, several weeks before the product was officially unveiled.

"Apple has filed a civil complaint against unnamed individuals who we believe stole our trade secrets and posted detailed information about an unannounced Apple product on the Internet," the company said in a statement provided to Reuters. "Apple's DNA is innovation and the protection of our trade secrets is crucial to our success."

Mac rumor Web sites are at their busiest ahead of the annual Macworld conventions, which are highly anticipated by the Mac faithful for product introductions and Jobs' keynote.

In recent weeks, the Web sites have been buzzing with speculation that Apple will introduce a smaller, cheaper version of its market-leading iPod digital music player that uses flash memory, rather than the hard disk drives of the standard iPods.

Flash memory chips retain data stored on them even when electrical current is shut off.

Financial analysts Andy Neff of Bear Stearns and Charlie Wolf of Needham & Co. have also published notes in recent weeks mentioning flash iPods.

"To succeed, Apple must develop innovative products and bring those products to market in advance of its competitors," the company said in its complaint. "If Apple competitors were aware of Apple's future production information, those competitors could benefit economically from that knowledge by directing their product development or marketing to frustrate Apple's plans."
Yahoo Link
 

dotnina

macrumors 6502a
Aug 19, 2004
856
0
:eek: :eek: :eek:

Who are they suing! Please don't tell me that "Milano Cookie" iPod is real!

Do you think whoever's getting sued would come out and say so? Are there restrictions that prevent you to say if Apple's suing you?
 

Peyote

macrumors 6502a
Apr 11, 2002
760
0
dotnina said:
:eek: :eek: :eek:


Do you think whoever's getting sued would come out and say so? Are there restrictions that prevent you to say if Apple's suing you?

I don't see why there would be. The information should be easily obtainable once they file the suit anyway.

EDIT: seems they've already file the suits...I'm sure we'll find out who it is by Monday.


EDIT V.2: You can search for the case here, but it's not in their database yet.

http://www.sccaseinfo.org/
 

dotnina

macrumors 6502a
Aug 19, 2004
856
0
Peyote said:
I don't see why there would be. The information should be easily obtainable once they file the suit anyway.

EDIT: seems they've already file the suits...I'm sure we'll find out who it is by Monday.
Ok, I read the article too quickly the first time through. It sounds like Apple doesn't even know who they're suing:

Apple said in the seven-page civil complaint, filed on Dec. 13, that it did not know the "true names or capacities, whether individual, associate, corporate or otherwise," of the defendants. Once they have been discovered, the Cupertino, California-based company said it would amend the complaint.
 

jeremy.king

macrumors 603
Jul 23, 2002
5,478
1
Fuquay Varina, NC
dotnina said:
Ok, I read the article too quickly the first time through. It sounds like Apple doesn't even know who they're suing:

You can file suit without knowing who? Wow.

Then in that case I am suing an unknown party for an unknown reason for an unknown amount in damages. I will amend the complaint once I find out who did what and decide on the appropriate penalty.

:D
 

Peyote

macrumors 6502a
Apr 11, 2002
760
0
kingjr3 said:
You can file suit without knowing who? Wow.

Then in that case I am suing an unknown party for an unknown reason. I will amend the complaint once I find out who did what.

:D

I assume you are seeking "Unspecified Damages"
 

Mr. Anderson

Moderator emeritus
Nov 1, 2001
22,407
0
VA
Interesting. Not as bad as the new iMac on the cover of Time Canada a day early, though :D

Having just misplaced my usb flash memory card, I'm thinking a flash iPod would be a good thing to have :D

D
 

Sun Baked

macrumors G5
May 19, 2002
14,874
57
I wonder if Morpheus is about to get slapped for the leaks (actual pages) on the CPUs, and continual updates every time a press release is about to hit.

Edit: I guess this is a little more interesting, instead of guessing/speculating on new hardware -- we're speculating which member of the rumor community is about to get stepped on.
 

Edot

macrumors 6502
Jan 29, 2002
432
0
NJ
???

Isn't Apple shooting themselves in the foot? If they just ignored the "leaked" information then the public and other companies would remain skeptical, and not really know what Apple is doing. Now they have pretty much confirmed that whatever was "leaked" was real, and they want to know who is responsible. I don't understand it. At least sue after the actual product has been released.
 

nbs2

macrumors 68030
Mar 31, 2004
2,713
485
A geographical oddity
true name

kingjr3 said:
You can file suit without knowing who? Wow.

Then in that case I am suing an unknown party for an unknown reason for an unknown amount in damages. I will amend the complaint once I find out who did what and decide on the appropriate penalty.

:D
it looks like they know who the person is by their alias, but they are trying to find their "true name" and how they are working - alone, with a group, or with another company. it would make sense that they would do this.

i wasn't really paying attention in class last year, so i can't remember how this works, but it seems like they are trying to preserve their rights under a statute of limitations. plus, by filing the lawsuit, they should have an easier time getting moderators and such to reveal IP addresses and other identifiable information. once again, i really wasn't paying attention in class (i was on macrumors trying to decide when to switch), so take this with a grian of salt.
 

MacRumors

macrumors bot
Apr 12, 2001
7,446
8,512
Reuters Story

On December 13th, Apple filed a civil suit against several anonymous parties, claiming that "an unidentified individual, acting alone or in concert with others, has recently misappropriated and disseminated through Web sites confidential information about an unreleased Apple product."

Current conjecture is that this is in relation to recent rumors surrounding a flash iPod, but the possibility that this is related to other recent product rumors, such as an Sirius-Apple collaboration, or Apple branded phone should not be discounted.
 

~Shard~

macrumors P6
Jun 4, 2003
18,388
42
1123.6536.5321
Wow, Apple sure means business! It'll be interesting to find out more about this leak and what exactly it pertains to. I guess whatever it is, we can all but assume it's fact, so that's good for us in some respects - not good for Apple in some respects too... ;)

Hopefully it's the iPhone, I think that could have some really cool potential... :cool:
 

Rower_CPU

Moderator emeritus
Oct 5, 2001
11,111
0
San Diego, CA
kjr39 said:
Wow. I made the front page...
Sorta - we were already drawing up the story and found your post so we decided to give you credit for posting it first by merging your thread into the front page story. :)
 

Freg3000

macrumors 68000
Sep 22, 2002
1,914
0
New York
Secrecy is paramount at Apple. While we might not like that, it is there choice, not ours. What else can Apple do to show that it is serious about leaks other than to sue? They mean business.

Steve does not like to be upstaged. :)
 

maya

macrumors 68040
Oct 7, 2004
3,225
0
somewhere between here and there.
kjr39 said:
Wow. I made the front page...
Yeah and on a friday. ;)


I believe its an iPhone and not really a FlashPod since rumors of a flash Pod have been since when, not to say that rumors of an iPhone have not however the iPhone just popped it head out of the Archives of rumors.

Well a month to go, I believe an INTERN messed up or was bought out by an outside source. :)
 

Makosuke

macrumors 603
Aug 15, 2001
6,150
341
The Cool Part of CA, USA
It sounds like they're suing over something that will be released, but based on the wording in that story it'd be possible that they're suing over a past infraction, and that the product was unreleased at the time but now available. If this is legally possible, I could imagine doing it to prevent "admitting" to the product that was leaked until after the fact.

Admittedly, I can't remember any particularly obvious leaks in the past few months, so unless this is very old, maybe it is proactively targeting people who Apple is afraid will continue to leak information.

Seems draconian, but to be honest I can see it from Apple's standpoint. If nobody knows that they're working on the iPod, nobody can start copying it until they've already got it on the market.

Ah, the shady business of Mac rumor sites!
 

benpatient

macrumors 68000
Nov 4, 2003
1,870
0
the secrecy crap has got to stop. they just do this to try and make as much money as they can off of their current (old) products before releasing a new, better one for the same price.

I wish they'd do it car-manufacturer style...then they could keep secrets, but we'd still know that we were getting something soon...as it is, we may not see this device until June...and we may not see G5 powerbooks for 2 years...but at least people would know to expect something...
 

kjr39

macrumors 6502
Original poster
Nov 26, 2004
374
3
benpatient said:
I wish they'd do it car-manufacturer style...then they could keep secrets, but we'd still know that we were getting something soon...as it is, we may not see this device until June...and we may not see G5 powerbooks for 2 years...but at least people would know to expect something...
What eletronic company follows the car manufacturer style? It would not make good business sense at all for Apple to tell everyone "Hey, don't buy our present line up, we will be releasing a much better system in a month!"

That would go over really well with Wall Street.

I have walked away from every computer/eletronic purchase I bought knowing that it is out of date.

Speaking of which, anyone want to buy an 8-track player? :p
 

maya

macrumors 68040
Oct 7, 2004
3,225
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somewhere between here and there.
benpatient said:
the secrecy crap has got to stop. they just do this to try and make as much money as they can off of their current (old) products before releasing a new, better one for the same price.

I wish they'd do it car-manufacturer style...then they could keep secrets, but we'd still know that we were getting something soon...as it is, we may not see this device until June...and we may not see G5 powerbooks for 2 years...but at least people would know to expect something...
You already have information from IBM in regards to the PPC chip with its own code name for the G5, as you can tell they have had some problems and some have been fixed its not hard to tell if the chip is ready or not, however its up to Apple if they choose to use it or not and when to release it. I am sure Apple is not sitting back when IBM has a faster chips and not use it rather than piss off they customers.

As with future unknown products it better if ppl only speculate what it might be it ruins the surprise and it makes for copy-cats we have already seen this with the notebooks, iMac, iPod and mini.

When you place you hard earned dollars in R&D would you revel what it is to everyone. I think not some information as you have stated is already given by companies that are involved as per Moto, IBM, Toshiba, Hitachi, etc...

Look at the clues. :)
 

maya

macrumors 68040
Oct 7, 2004
3,225
0
somewhere between here and there.
kjr39 said:
What eletronic company follows the car manufacturer style? It would not make good business sense at all for Apple to tell everyone "Hey, don't buy our present line up, we will be releasing a much better system in a month!"

That would go over really well with Wall Street.

I have walked away from every computer/eletronic purchase I bought knowing that it is out of date.

Speaking of which, anyone want to buy an 8-track player? :p
You forget R&D hardware is also unstable as soon as it is stable it makes its way to the top companies and finally to consumers this the life cycle of every product. Why are people acting surprised? :)