L’affaire iPhone.

Apple will be pursuing charges against the two young men who found the left-behind iPhone 4 in a California bar before it was officially released to the public. The pair sold the iPhone 4 to Gizmodo, a tech blog, for $5000 and now Apple is going to pursue action against the blog as well claiming that the blog violated trade secrets. Apple has a history of staunchly protecting their IP and this will be no exception. Given the cost of ‘breaking’ such news versus whatever profit it may bring you, why would Gizmodo publish such a thing? Sometimes you have to pick your battles and I think Apple is totally in the right for pursuing action against the blog but I question what the ultimate goal is. If it is to deter future actions like what happened on Gizmodo, that will probably be a transient aftereffect. The questions is to what degree such actions constitute theft or even corporate espionage. Was Apple hindered in the market due to competitors’ knowledge of its upcoming phone? I’m sure it would have sold like wild regardless. Maybe because it gave a competitor a leg up on developing new features for their competitor phone? Still, that competitor would be playing catch-up, and we all know first to market is first to claim innovation in the tech world. All in all, I don’t blame Apple for aggressively protecting itself, I just hope that the Supreme Court clarifies these issues for us in the future as technology enables rapid dissemination of information in a way very unlike anything the law has dealt with in the past.