Apple Sues Think Secret


macrumors bot
Original poster
Apr 12, 2001
CNET News reports that Apple is suing rumor site Think Secret for posting Apple trade secrets and for encouraging and inducing persons to provide product information in breach of agreements. Previously, Apple had named, along with and, in subpoenas while tracking down leaks of information about Asteroid.

The court filings list particular Think Secret articles, including the headless iMac and iLife '05 stories, without identifying which reported details are true.

"Apple has filed a civil complaint against the owner of and unnamed individuals who we believe stole Apple's trade secrets," Apple said in its statement. "We believe that Think Secret solicited information about unreleased Apple products from these individuals, who violated their confidentiality agreements with Apple by providing details that were later posted on the Internet."

In the suit, Apple outlines the damage that leaks cause, noting that disclosures give competitors a head start and hurt the buzz created around its products. "Unauthorized disclosures diminish the interest of both the mainstream and trade media in the launch of a new product," Apple said.
Previous related stories: Apple Sues Over Leak, Apple Sues Tiger Leaks, $499 Headless iMac?, iWork '05 Productivity Suite?


macrumors newbie
Jul 13, 2004
Apple is into the holiday spirit, eh? Seems they can't control their own employees and contractors, so they figure... "Hell, lets sue and sobeana the publishers of sites most dedicated to spreading the Apple cheer."

Bah Humbug


macrumors regular
May 7, 2003
any chance this is all just another part of the pre-announcement circus, designed to whip all the rumor junkies into a frenzy so that we tell everyone we know about stuff that may be coming out in a week, thus providing apple with a larger audience of interest?

Lord Blackadder

macrumors G5
May 7, 2004
Sod off
This could really affect the quality and number of rumors we see around here anymore, especially if Steve catches the Apple people who are talking to Think Secret. :(

I guess I'm not super surprised, though.


macrumors 6502a
Jan 19, 2004
I guess Apple wants to kill all Rumour sites, eh?

Not fair. They help generate excitement for Apple's products. You'd think Apple would love them, or at least find a way to use them to their advantage. This "sue them to death" crap isn't going to work. We're living in the information age, you can't keep anything under wraps anymore. :D


macrumors 6502
Dec 30, 2004
Ann Arbor, MI
Regardless of what you think about the ethics of these lawsuits, do you think their simple existence lends credence to the topics of these rumors?

Why would Apple sue over release of information about non-existent products? Unless those products won't be coming out as planned. I hope we don't have to wait to hear about miniMac.

Dont Hurt Me

macrumors 603
Dec 21, 2002
Yahooville S.C.
They should stop paying those high price lawyers and start printing a roadmap of products so the consumer can make a logical decision instead of the mystery game they play. Think secret is a direct reflection upon Apples own policies of not telling anyone anything. Glad i canceled that Powermac that was overdue for more then a month and went elsewhere. Hope Think Secret wins but you know who has the money in the bank and when it comes to lawsuites the biggest dollar usually wins doesnt it. Apple sues everyone and i think its tastless bullying tactics that you Mac Zealots should be aware of. Maybe we should email Apple and let them know its their own fault for playing spy vs spy.


macrumors 603
Jun 25, 2002
LaLaLand, CA
Guess something was true. Cool, looking forward to next week (hope we aren't disappointed).

For all those complaining, yes we love rumors, but it does kinda spoil the surprise doesn't it. Especially if it turns out to be a little less than we expect and costs a little more (iPod mini, anyone?). Plus, the last guy they sued, you know what his punishment was?

He had to say sorry and promise he'll never do it again. I doubt Apple is looking for money, they just want to scare them. But you gotta admit, it's darn good publicity.


macrumors member
Oct 9, 2004
Dallas, Texas
this is rediculous...i really think they went overboard on this one.

Rumors is what I live on, we cant have them cut off!!!


macrumors Penryn
Jul 11, 2003
Little Endian said:
Oh well I hope Macrumors is safe
MR hasn't reported any rumor in quite some time, they have credited their stories to AI, TS and others.


macrumors member
Dec 12, 2003
About time too - ThinkSecret has gone way beyond rumours over the past few weeks and deserves to be sued. I would imagine they will dissapear pretty soon as the legal costs alone would be enought to bankrupt them I would imagine ...


macrumors P6
Jun 4, 2003
Obviously something ThinkSecret said got their attention!

Kinda funny, lots of people have been complaining about MacRumors lately that they don't dig up enough of their own rumors anymore, and just report on other site's rumors - however in doing so, MR might be availing itself of any legal action - who's clever now? ;) :cool:


macrumors member
Dec 2, 2003
New Zealand
Oh Boo Hoo....

Suddenly Apple is stepping up its legal threats against the 'rumour community'... could this be Apple's year of the lawsuit?? :mad:

Rumours are a vital part of any product launch to create awareness that something 'big' is coming and deliver s bigger audience to the launch... it also helps save the company $$ becuase it doesn't have to advertise the fact that something 'big' is coming.... Maybe the lawyers have taken over at Apple :eek: :eek: :eek:

Anyway it seems that the company has lost its sense of humour :(


macrumors 6502a
Jul 18, 2002
I doubt they'll come after macrumors. Seems MR's sources dried up a long time ago. Now they just post links to appleinsider articles.


macrumors regular
May 14, 2004
Working the media

The legal action proves the rumors were true. I think the suit is a ploy to hype the new products. Why sue when they usualy deny everything. As proven in ages past people love drama and they'll get sucked in, giving the new products free publicity.


macrumors 65816
Sep 13, 2002
To be honest, I'm surprised it has taken Apple this long. TS has been a thorn in their side for years. They pretty much ruined all of this year's MWSF surpises, A-Zed.

I expect Apple means to bury TS completely, wipe it from the map with costly, punishing litigation. Sad, but not surprising.

Doctor Q

Staff member
Sep 19, 2002
Los Angeles
My personal opinion:

MacRumors is not at risk. MacRumors reports stories submitted to it and does not encourage anyone to break laws. That applies to non-disclosure agreements as well as other areas such as software pirating.


macrumors newbie
Jun 23, 2003
Ithaca, NY
Well, you had to wonder...

I was actually just talking with a friend about how the rumors were flying fast and furious before MacWorld Expo. And we both commented that we wouldn't be surprised if Apple Legal soon became involved.

What really surprised me about the leaks/rumors was the timing--in past years, there hasn't been much information until maybe a day or two before the expo. Now suddenly, we're hearing about things more than a week in advance.

Hope it comes out OK in the end...


macrumors 603
Sep 3, 2003
North Carolina
I wonder if TS will even be able to muster enough money to defend itself. That may be part of Apple's strategy: to make the lawsuit so expensive that TS has no option but to settle.

That said, I'm not sure it's really legit to sue someone for encouraging someone else to violate a nondisclosure agreement. That's like suing the casino because someone picked your pocket to get gambling money.


macrumors 68040
May 6, 2004
What's Your Favorite Posish
im not 100% sure they are doing the right thing in trying to stop this type of site,

there are 100s of thousands that access and use these sites, it gets people...... "apple hyped"

maybe its not the right thing, as for MR getting in trouble i cant see it happening because there rumours are very very carfully put up here, normally quoting thinksecret! good move MR