Originally Posted by Kolchak
Which is why it was disguised as a current model iPhone. It's one thing if they take it out bare naked for everyone to see. That they're hiding it when in public means it is still considered to have trade secret protection. Besides, it was not "brought out by Apple." It was carried by an employee and he didn't publicly announce that it was a next-gen iPhone.
Actually, even that isn't particularly relevant.
If he had been carrying an undisguised iPhone 4G into the bar, other patrons would have been able to legally take pictures of the phone and distribute the pictures as widely as they wish. Taking the phone into a public place eliminates the expectation of privacy AT THAT LEVEL.
But it does NOT give someone permission to pick up the phone and sell it - or to buy such a phone from the 'finder'. If you know that the phone is a trade secret, publication of non-public information about it is illegal in both CA AND NY.
Besides, I strongly suspect that there's far more involved than we've heard. Look at the sequence of events:
Gizmodo offers a large reward for info on iPhone 4G.
Someone just happens to be in a bar frequented by Apple employees.
That person just happens to strike up a conversation with an Apple employee who has one of a small number of iPhone 4G samples.
The iPhone 4G owner happens to leave it on a bar stool (who leaves things on a bar stool, anyway? The bar or a table, sure, but the bar stool????)
The 'finder' can't figure out that the person calling the phone is either the owner or knows the owner. They can't be bothered to post a message to the facebook page. They don't call Apple HQ to ask to speak to the owner (since they know his name). Instead, they call AppleCare - probably the LAST department in Apple who would know about it.
Now, that same person who isn't smart enough to figure out how to get the phone back to someone in Apple just happens to call Gizmodo - hardly a household name, and just 'coincidentally' the site that has offered a large reward.
Do you really believe that it happened that way? There are far too many 'coincidences' for that to make ANY sense.