Apple has been ordered to pay $700,000 in court costs to bloggers it had attempted to prosecute on strength of claims of publishing trade secrets.

A Santa Clara County Court ordered Apple to pay the legal fees related to the case. The company had attempted to subpoena Mac news websites AppleInsider and O'Grady's PowerPage over reports of a still unreleased product called 'Asteroid'.

Apple claimed the reports violated California state trade secret law, arguing that this law took priority over the journalist's First Amendment protection.

As part of its case, Apple at one point demanded email and other records from the ISPs of the sites concerned.

The various court decisions in the case mean that the US press – incuding so-called 'bloggers' — can continue to report stories and protect their sources without fear of being suppressed by corporate legal departments.