January 20, 2009, 1:30 AM — Hey, everybody! Apple's being sued! It's in good company, though, as it's a co-defendant with a number of other companies, including Microsoft and Lenovo. The plaintiff appears to be a pure patent troll that in 1994 and 1995 patented "program authorization information," which was defined so vaguely as to cover just about any OS-level security measures to prevent viruses from infiltrating a computer. (Naturally, the plaintiff does not produce or sell any products based on its patented invention.)
A bigger problem, though, is the issue of lawsuits over Steve Jobs' health. The question is: how much right does the investor community have to detailed and up-to-the-minute information on the company's leader's health? The question is an unsettling one, and indicates that, as much as individuals who work for companies may be very private people, the "public" in "publicly traded corporation" is there for a reason.