Apple Lawyer Tells Valleywag to “Knock It Off”

appletabletApple’s top secret—and technically unconfirmed—tablet PC has been flooding the Web with rumors all week. Tech blog Valleywag decided to up the ante on the mythical tablet and initiated an Apple Tablet Scavenger Hunt. Valleywag announced it was offering a $10,000 reward for “bona fide” pictures of the tablet, $20,000 for a video, $50,000 for pictures or video of Apple CEO Steve Jobs holding the tablet, and $100,000 “to let us play with one for an hour.”

Apple was not pleased with the site and told its legal representative Michael Spillner of Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe to warn Valleywag—which he did, in the polite form of a letter. “While Apple values and appreciates vibrant public commentary about its products, we believe you and your company crossed the line by offering a bounty for the theft of Apple’s trade secrets,” read the letter, which was quoted in The Wall Street Journal. “Such an offer is illegal and Apple insists that you immediately discontinue the Scavenger Hunt.”

Unaffected by the legality of the issue, Valleywag confirmed on its site that it was still offering prizes for the tablet information and that “we can’t tell Apple who you are if we don’t know who you are.”