Gizmodo gets off the hook in iPhone 4 case

Charges won't be filed against Gizmodo over that iPhone 4 prototype mess, but the same can't be said for the guys who found it.

In what is now just a small blip in the entangled world of Apple's legal dealings these days, Gizmodo will not be officially charged after publishing photos and detailed information about the iPhone 4 prototype last year.

In case you've forgotten, an Apple employee mistakenly left the iPhone 4, which was still a few months away from even being unveiled at the time, in a bar in Redwood City, Calif., just around the corner from the Cupertino headquarters.

Unfortunately for said employee, some guys found it and sold it to Gizmodo, which then turned around and published a ton of information about it -- all of which turned out to be valid as that is the iPhone 4 we all know and (sometimes) love today.

Gawker Media has published a brief statement of thanks and relief, and the San Mateo County District Attorney's statement is also available on Gizmodo.

However, the two individuals who didn't steal but found the iPhone, but then sold it when it wasn't theirs to sell, are being charged.

The San Jose Mercury News reports:

Brian Hogan, 22, has been charged with one count of misappropriating lost property for selling the phone to tech site Gizmodo after finding it in a German-themed bar and restaurant in Redwood City last spring. An associate of Hogan's, 28-year-old Sage Wallower, has been hit with the same charge plus one count of possessing stolen property.

Both of them will be arraigned on August 25 in San Mateo County Superior Court. It's a little hard to believe that it's taken this long for the case to get to this point, especially considering Apple was able to block the Galaxy Tab 10.1 for sale within the European Union before Samsung supposedly even found out about it.