Apple says trade secrets posted online

In a lawsuit, the company says an unknown individual posted images of its new mouse and dual-processor Power Mac G4 months before their release.

Apple Computer Inc. is suing an unknown individual or individuals who posted images and disclosed details of unannounced products.

In a lawsuit filed in Santa Clara (Calif.) Superior Court Wednesday, Apple (aapl) said digital images of its new ApplePro Mouse and Power Mac G4 were posted on several Web sites months before the products' release last month.

Apple does not know who is responsible for leaking the information.

The suit does not name the sites where the images were allegedly posted, but several Apple rumor sites regularly trade in publishing information Apple considers confidential.

The suit says images of the new mouse were posted on the Internet around Feb. 16, long before its official release July 19.

Photos of the Power Mac G4 were posted Feb. 16, according to the company.

The suit says also that Apple believes the person responsible has publicly posted trade secret information about other Apple products that Apple has not publicly disclosed.

Apple is asking for compensatory and exemplary damages and an injunction against further publishing.

"Apple is informed and believes that Doe 1 is continuing and will continue to misappropriate Apple's Future Product Information," the lawsuit states. "By reason of that ongoing misappropriation, Apple will suffer great and irreparable harm and damage..."

The company has aggressively gone after individuals and companies it believes have abused its trademarks and copyrights, including a high-profile action against companies who Apple believed too closely copied the distinctive iMac design.