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Wednesday, January 05, 2005, 11:00 am PT (02:00 pm ET)

New Apple suit may confirm forthcoming products

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, reports CNet News.com.

The computer company 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."

"Apple has filed a civil complaint against the owner of ThinkSecret.com 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."

This latest suit is believed to be in response to recently published reports disclosing information on a forthcoming headless iMac, as well as the purported Apple-branded "iWork" productivity suite.

The lawsuit also represents the company's third intellectual property suit in less than 3 weeks. In December, Apple filed suit against unnamed individuals it claimed leaked details about a forthcoming music device code-named Asteroid. A separate action filed shortly thereafter accused two former Apple developers of distributing prerelease versions of its next-generation operating system, Mac OS X 10.4 "Tiger."

Apple is slated to kick-off next week's Macworld Expo in San Francisco with the announcement of several new products, which may include an iMac sans monitor, new iPods, and an office productivity suite.