Apple's legal team has acted against a former contract employee for leaking information concerning its most recent Power Mac G4 revision.

The employee is alleged to have posted technical drawings of the new models on the Internet before the products were officially announced.

The complaint says Lopez – employed as a contractor between 2001 and 2002 – misappropriated trade secrets, in breach of his contract. Apple's suit also names an unidentified defendant, Doe 1.

The company claims the employee posted "schematic drawings, images and engineering details of the Power Macs", according to the Associated Press. He worked in the company's Sacramento plant.

The company seeks compensatory damages, exemplary damages, an injunction to restrain the misappropriation of Apple's future product information, fees and other relief.

MacCentral reports an Apple spokesman who said: "Innovation is in Apple's DNA, so the protection of trade secrets is crucial to our success. Our policy is to take legal actions where necessary to preserve the confidentiality of our intellectual property."

Apple's action is accompanied by a criminal complaint from Sacramento's district attorney's office, which has filed a criminal complaint against Lopez. A warrant for the arrest of Lopez has also been issued and Lopez has now been arrested.

Apple sued former employee Juan Gutierrez for similar actions in 2000.