Apple begins to learn from NDA paranoia

Posted by Wolfgang Gruener

Apple is probably still the most secretive company in Silicon Valley and despite more frequent leaks about new products, we know that company is serious about its non disclosure agreements (NDAs). These agreements typically prevent the parties involved to talk about any information covered by the NDA to anyone but Apple.

Apple is known to have lots of those NDAs in place and the company is known that it will go after those who violate those agreements with full force. But while those NDAs protect Apple’s secrets, they not necessarily promote the further development of them. And as a result, Apple dropped one key NDA today – an NDA fro released iPhone software.    

According to the company, the NDA was put in place to protect the firm’s inventions and “so that others don’t steal [Apple’s] work.”

“We put it in place as one more way to help protect the iPhone from being ripped off by others,” the company said.

However, Apple conceded that this particular NDA “has created too much of a burden on developers, authors and others,” which prompted the company drop the NDA for “released software”. Apple said it will send developers a “new agreement without an NDA covering released software within a week or so.” The emphasis here is, of course, on “released software”, which means that unreleased software and features will remain under NDA until they are released.

This specific NDA for released software was often criticized as a barrier that prevented a communication among developers. While this NDA should promote more discussion among developers, there is no reason to believe that Apple will loosen its general focus on NDAs anytime soon. For example, it was recently reported that even AppStore rejection messages sent by Apple are now under NDA.