Think Secret & Apple Settle Suit; Think Secret to Cease Publishing

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Think Secret announced early on Thursday that the site had settled a long-standing lawsuit with Apple, Inc. The settlement announced by Think Secret contains two publicly revealed elements: The first is that the site will cease publishing, and the second is that the site did not reveal its sources for the story over which Apple was suing. Other terms of the settlement have not been revealed.

Apple sued Think Secret for misappropriating trade secrets for a story posted on December 28, 2004 pre-announcing what was to be called the Mac mini. The article has been removed from Think Secretis site, but is still available via the Wayback machine at Archive.org. While the suit dropped out of the limelight after a year or so of legal maneuverings and lots of very bad publicity for Apple, it was an ongoing case until this announcement.

After a brief stint at a different domain, Think Secret was officially launched on May 3, 1999 by Nick dePlume (a.k.a. Nick Ciarelli) at the tender young age of 13. When he was sued, he was still a teenager, aged 19, attending Harvard, a fact that added to Appleis image of being a bully for pursuing the case. Until that time, few realized that the one of the most highly regarded "Mac rumor sites" on the Internet was published by such a young person.

As a site that often published information about unannounced Apple products, Think Secret was not highly regarded by the executives of Apple, even though those advanced stories often helped to build excitement about Appleis Macworld keynotes from Steve Jobs.

This excitement came from both the Mac community and the mainstream press, and the latter began to increasingly cite and source Think Secret -- as well as AppleInsider and other rumor sites -- in their own coverage of Apple, particularly after the lawsuit from Apple raised Think Secretis profile.

At the time of this writing (the middle of the night in the US), no one from Apple or The dePlume Organization was available for comment. We hope to have more for you as the day develops.

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