The attorney representing Nick Ciarelli, owner and publisher of Mac enthusiast site ThinkSecret.com, is going on the offensive against a lawsuit filed by Apple lawyers.
Terry Gross, a partner in the San Francisco-based Gross & Belsky LLP, plans to file a motion in February to dismiss the case with the court on the grounds of First Amendment rights, as well as seek sanctions against Apple for legal costs already incurred.
Apple filed the lawsuit in the Superior Court of California, County of Santa Clara, Jan. 4, against 19-year-old Harvard student Ciarelli and his company, dePlume Organization, LLC, for inducing people to report work being done on pre-release products and publishing the company's trade secrets.
Gross, who formerly served the Electronic Frontier Foundation as counsel, said he has asked for an extension, which Apple granted, but has yet to hear back from lawyers about dropping the case entirely.
"I've told them, 'just dismiss this; this is meritless and you're going to lose, and we're going to file a motion that's going to seek to dismiss the entire lawsuit on First Amendment grounds,'" he said.
Gross says the lawsuit is "intended to intimidate bloggers." "This lawsuit wouldn't have been filed if the information was coming out of the New York Times, Wall Street Journal or other major media outlet, Gross said."