Apple has filed a suit against three developers that it claims released an early version of Mac OS X 10.4 Tiger onto the Web.

The company filed the lawsuit on Monday, alleging that the developers posted an advanced copy of Tiger onto sites used by the BitTorrent file-trading network.

According to Cnet, Apple is seeking an injunction to prevent further releases of its software as well as unspecified monetary damages.

Substantially dependent

The suit states that: "Apple's future operating results and financial condition are substantially dependent on its ability to continue to develop improvements to the Mac OS and related software applications in order to maintain perceived design and functional advantages over competing platforms. Apple therefore invests heavily in the development of new and innovative versions of the Mac OS and other software applications."

According to Apple, the tracker on one of the BitTorrent sites indicated that more than 2,500 copies of one Tiger version were downloaded.

This latest legal action follows Apple's decision to sue individuals who released details of another new product onto the Web. Earlier this week Apple was granted a request to serve subpoenas on three Mac rumour Web sites so that the company can discover who is responsible for the leaking of the product informaiton.