MANHASSET, N.Y. Apple Computer Inc. was questioned in court Thursday (April 20) as the computer maker argued its case to identify those who leaked trade secrets, according to an Associated Press report.
The report was quoted as saying Apple contended the unidentified sources—presumed to be company employees—violating its trade secrets. It subpoenaed the Internet service providers of three online journalists to turn over e-mail records to uncover the possible sources.
According to the report, Apple is being questioned in the 6th District Court of Appeal in Northern California, after the Electronic Frontier Association, whose attorneys represented online journalists of AppleInsider.Com, PowerPage.org, and MacNN.com, appealed a lower court decision favoring Apple. The organization contends Apple’s protection of trade secrets should not outweigh the journalists’ First Amendment right to confidential sources, nor the privacy protections of e-mails allowed under Federal law, the report said.
The appellate panel has reportedly questioned Apple’s claim that published diagrams of the product in question--- an unrelated music-related product named Asteroid--- amounted to a trade secret.
Attorneys for Apple were quoted as saying in the case that the diagrams showed technical details that amount to an information leak constituting "a very serious theft."
The appellate panel has 90 days to issue a ruling, according to the report.