Apple has sued a former product designer Simon Lancaster for selling information of unreleased company’s products and also trade secrets to a media person. The motivation of Lancaster behind leaking the company’s confidential information was reportedly in the hopes of getting some media attention. He figured some media attention would help him be more recognizable and the fame would help him at his next company.
“Tens of thousands of Apple employees work tirelessly every day on new products, services and features in the hopes of delighting our customers and empowering them to change the world. Stealing ideas and confidential information undermines their efforts, hurting Apple and our customers,” said Apple in a statement to The Verge. “We take very seriously this individual’s deliberate theft of our trade secrets, violation of our ethics and our policies, all for personal gain. We will do all we can to protect the innovations we hold so dear.”
According to Apple, Lancaster and his contact in the media got in touch in 2018. Based on the suit filed by the company, the two spent some time discussing the possibility of helping each other – Lancaster would fetch confidential information and the media correspondent would return the favour by writing about him. The duo reportedly spent the next two years communicating with each other.
Lancaster reportedly boasted to somebody about his ability to have a story written on his startup. He appears to have claimed that if his startup hit $1 million in funding, he would ask his media correspondent to do a piece on it. He also asked his media correspondent to check for any rumours about Apple products that could potentially affect his startup.
The media correspondent was asked by Lancaster if he would be willing to write “to write a story about a 12-year Apple Design Veteran leaving for an amazing startup?”. At the same time, in October 2019, Lancaster reportedly informed his media correspondent about his plans of departing from Apple.