Stop the presses! Apple sues ThinkSecret over ‘Headless Mac,’ ‘iWork,’ and other rumors

“In its latest lawsuit seeking to clamp down on leaks, Apple Computer has added credibility to several hot rumors, including plans to offer a cheaper Macintosh and its own line of office software,” Ina Fried reports for CNET News. “Apple on Tuesday sued the publisher of Mac enthusiast site Think Secret and other unnamed individuals, alleging that recent postings on the site contain Apple trade secrets, according to court documents seen by CNET News.com.”

“The suit, filed Tuesday in the Superior Court of Santa Clara County, Calif., aims to identify who is leaking the information and to get an injunction preventing further release of trade secrets. However, in filing the suit, Apple identifies specific articles that contain trade secrets, indicating that at least parts of those reports are on the mark,” Fried reports. “In its suit, Apple specifically lists certain articles that contain confidential information, though it does not confirm which of the article’s details are true. For example, when mentioning the report that Apple plans a ‘G4-based iMac without display,’ Apple says the article ‘disclosed numerous confidential details regarding the technical capabilities of Apple’s unreleased computer product as well as Apple’s confidential marketing plans.'”

Fried reports, “Similar confirmation is offered regarding iWork, which Think Secret said on Dec. 31 would be a suite of office software combining the company’s Keynote presentation program with a new document creation application called Pages… The suit illustrates the challenges Apple faces in trying to keep its products secret. In order to maintain trade secret protection, companies have to vigorously try to plug leaks. However, in trying to identify the leaks, Apple has at times lent credence to the rumors it wishes to squelch.”

Much more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: A great article with many details. Read the full article over at CNET. Apparently, according to Fried’s report, Apple has gone to great lengths to try to stop the leaks through ThinkSecret, sending ThinkSecret a “a number of letters” through their lawyers in recent years, only to have ThinkSecret ignore Apple’s demands, according to Apple, as reported by Fried ( better safe, than sorry wink ). Let’s see if a rumormill currently running in Macworld Expo overdrive can be safely downshifted so quickly. Will Jobs’ Macworld Expo Keynote Presentation please just hurry up and happen already?!

Related MacDailyNews articles:
IGG Software changes name of ‘iWork’ to ‘iBiz’ – clearing the way for Apple’s iWork? – January 03, 2005
Enderle: Rumored $500 Apple Mac ‘should be a media server, not a general purpose PC’ – January 03, 2005
When fictional ‘US$499 Headless iMac’ doesn’t materialize, the disappointment could hurt Apple – January 01, 2005
Rumored $500 ‘Headless Mac’ could double Mac market share, boost share price – January 01, 2005
RUMOR: Apple to debut ‘iWork ’05’ productivity suite at Macworld Expo – January 01, 2005
Analyst: Budget $499 Mac doesn’t make sense for Apple Computer – December 31, 2004
Apple’s rumored $500 ‘Headless Mac’ more wishful thinking than fact? – December 31, 2004
Quick glances back at 2004 and ahead to 2005 – Happy New Year from MacDailyNews! – December 31, 2004
Apple’s next great idea: gearing up to take a big bite out of the mass computer market – December 30, 2004
Rumored ‘Headless iMac’ would be radical departure from Apple’s usual high margin strategy – December 30, 2004
Piper Jaffray: ‘Headless iMac would appeal to many potential Windows to Mac switchers’ – December 30, 2004
Headless iMac for $499? Please, Apple, let it be true! – December 29, 2004
RUMOR: Apple to debut $499 ‘headless iMac’ at Macworld Expo on January 11 – December 29, 2004
Inexpensive ‘Headless iMac’ could hook Windows users who love their iPods on Mac OS X – December 29, 2004

74 Comments

  1. Jkel, except that by suing based on trade secret claims Apple has given those articles credibility they didn’t have yesterday.

    Kindly like if I published an article saying that you were found mating furiously with a monkey at the local mall. A suit for libel would be denying what I published. On the other hand, if you sued for invading your privacy one thing everyone could be sure of was that there was an awfully sore monkey at the mall.

  2. That sucks, Thinksecret does many of us a great service by finding the rumors. Apple should be upset at it’s employees for leaking the info not Thinksecret for posting it.

    This is a sad sad day. And since when did RUMORS become headline news anyway? RUMORS are just that, RUMORS!!

    If websites choose to take unconfirmed news and report on it, thats there mistake if it does not turn out to be true.

  3. So is this a confirmation that the headless *Mac is not a figment of the imagination, or is Apple suing Thinksecret for getting everyone’s hopes up and therefore potentially damaging their reputation? Who knows…

  4. Any press is good press. Apple’s secrecy fuels speculation and generates interest in the keynote. If Apple confirmed or denied the rumors in a statement they would kill interest in the keynote. By suing they have, to a degree, confirmed the rumors, gained more press and hightened interest in the keynote. Brilliant!!!

  5. I CAN see where releasing news about this product could screw Apple up though. Like for example if they were NOT planning on announcing it at MWSF and only announcing it later after they had all their ducks in a row this could screw them up bad. If they don’t announce it, everybody thinks it is not true and the stock price could tank. If they do announce it but are not ready to ship, everybody could be waiting for the cheaper Mac and their sales in the interim could take a hit.

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