Why it matters: Being one of the largest companies in the world means Apple’s lawyers are kept busy. It’s not just patent trolls and IP thieves it has they deal with; the firm is also trying to stop sales of a book written by a former executive.
The book, called "App Store Confidential," is written by Tom Sadowski. He was Apple's App Store leader for Germany, Austria, and Switzerland from 2014 until he was fired by the company in December 2019.
Reuters describes Sadowski as a self-styled German rapper, ski instructor and marketing manager, while the book is called “part autobiography and part self-help guide for Generation Z readers looking to navigate their way into the tech scene.”
German publication Der Zeit writes that Sadowski and his publisher say that after the book was published in Germany this week, Apple’s lawyers sent a cease and desist letter that demanded they stop delivering the book to stores, recall all copies already sold, and destroy all manuscripts. Apple says it contains "business secrets" of "considerable economic value."
Sadowski said he thought the book would benefit Apple rather than damage the company, adding that he shared the manuscript with Cupertino in advance of its publication.
Exciting times. Nach monatelanger Arbeit an Wochenenden, im Taxi, Flieger, SBahn und in jeder freien Minute erscheint mein Buch ‘App Store Confidential’, das ihr ab sofort bei Amazon und ab nächste Woche beim Händler Eures Vertrauens kaufen könnt 💥. Was erwartet den Leser? Wie bin ich zu Apple gekommen und was habe ich vorher gemacht? Wie funktioniert die App Economy? Ich nehme Euch mit zu spannenden persönlichen Erlebnissen mit Startups und zu einem Treffen mit Tim Cook. Was macht aus meiner Sicht eine App erfolgreich und welche Trends und Oportunities sehe ich für junge Entwickler? Wenn Euch das Buch gefällt, freue ich mich über jede Rezension und jeden Post. Holt es Euch jetzt! 💥
While the book contains tips for app developers on how to pitch to Apple, along with details of Sadowski’s meetings with CEO Tim Cook, it reveals little to no secrets related to how Apple does business.
"I really enjoyed working for Apple [...] I never had any intention of betraying any secrets or harming Apple, as anyone who has read the book will tell you,” Sadowski told Reuters. “But I also believe in the freedom of the press and freedom of speech and that every person and every company is equal before the law, and therefore I resist Apple’s demands."
In a statement, Apple said it had long promoted a free press and supported authors of all types. "While we regret the way this longstanding Apple employee violated our working relationship, his actions left us with no other option but to terminate his employment — a decision agreed upon by the works council."
This isn’t the first ex-employee Apple has gone after. Back in December, it sued former high-level chip designer Gerard Williams, who was in charge of A-series processors used in iPhones and iPads, for allegedly violated his contract and is exploiting Apple technology in his new venture.