Apple used to be pretty good at keeping secrets, but as its supply chain expanded the company has been unable to prevent information about its upcoming products leak months before its actual release.
Vice reports that Apple is trying to go after Chinese leakers, though with China’s weak protection of intellectual property their complaints border on the amusing.
The company has sent a Cease and Desist to a major Chinese leaker with a large social media following, in which they complain that the leaker spoiled Apple’s surprise, which the letter says is part of the company’s “DNA.”
“Apple has made every effort to take strict measures to maintain confidentiality for any information about Apple’s products before their official release to ensure that every time Apple releases a new product, it can surprise the public. The secret of Apple’s latest technological innovation is an important part of the company DNA.”
They also complained that by releasing early specs “third-party accessory manufacturers may develop and sell mobile phone cases and other accessories that are not actually compatible with the unreleased products.”
They also complain that leakers profit via a reputation or large social media followings from “illegal disclosure of Apple’s trade secret,”, saying it gave the leakers “widespread recognition and a large number of followers.”
“Such situations harm the interests of consumers and Apple. Therefore, it is obvious that when the unpublished information about the design and performance of Apple’s products is kept confidential, it has actual and potential commercial value,” Apple’s lawyers in China wrote in the letter.
It is difficult to know how much teeth Apple’s threats have in China, but it is notable that Apple is not quoting a law similar to DMCA which would have given Apple the immediate upper hand in the west.