Harvard Crimson has a report on student Nick Ciarelli and ThinkSecret founder’s legal chances.
Roger M. Milgrim, a New York intellectual property attorney and the author of Milgrim on Trade Secrets, said that Apple might be trying to scare off other sites from copying Think Secret’s tactics. “They figure that if they place financial pressures on this fellow, they’ll stop others from doing this same,” said Milgrim, who was unfamiliar with the case. “A preliminary injunction issued by a California court is useless against a Massachusetts or New York resident. But they seek damages and this young man will have to appear and he will have to hire a lawyer.” Milgrim and Harvard Law Professor Lloyd L. Weinreb, when told by a Crimson reporter about the case, said Ciarelli might have a difficult time defending his actions. “If that student is inviting people to give him information that was violating a trade secret he might be liable as a contributory infringer,” Weinreb said. An infringer violates the law directly, but a contributory infringer knows about the infringement and facilitates it in some way.