The whole Gizmodo-buying-an-4th-generation-iPhone-from-a-dude-who-left-it-in-an-bar issue is now coming to a close. The story started with Brian J Hogan finding the prototype iPhone (now known as iPhone 4) unattended in a bar who then sold it to Gizmodo for $5,000. Gizmodo editor Jason Chen then, of course, published a mammoth report on it and garnered over 20 million views and most of all, Apple’s attention.
Macnn reports that a number of Apple employees including the CEO himself – Steve Jobs – have been interviewed by the police about the prototype.
In addition to Gawker Media’s potential culpability in buying stolen property, there is also the matter of whether Gizmodo, Hogan or both are guilty of violating trade secrets laws. The California Uniform Trade Secrets Act does not allow a journalistic exception to receiving property that contains proprietary trade secrets.
Gawker media, the parent company, was initially served a subpoena at the home of editor Jason Chen, but since then Chen and the company have voluntarily turned over all material relating to the acquisition of the iPhone. The company maintains it did nothing illegal, but its own attorney admits his client used "poor judgement."
A full police report is expected by Stephen Wagstaffe (Chief Deputy DA for San Mateo County) in the coming weeks which will hopefully wrap up the entire fiasco. Apple has not commented on the matter since April.
Apple may file a civil lawsuit against Gawker Media (parent company of Gizmodo) if the charges against Jason Chen and Brian Hogan – for buying stolen property – are dropped. [via Macnn]
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