Apple has dropped its legal challenge against a US appeals court ruling that granted bloggers equal rights to print and broadcast journalists over the confidentiality of their sources.

The company initially demanded that Apple Insider and Power Page reveal sources for a leaked story about a secret new product, called Asteroid.

Apple was attempting to sue several unnamed individuals - referred to in court proceedings as 'Does' - for leaking confidential information.

The company demanded that Apple Insider and Power Page publishers, and their internet service providers, reveal the identities of their sources.

In 2004, A Santa Clara superior court judge sided with Apple and said that there was no legal protection for the bloggers.

However, in May, a Californian appeals court agreed with the bloggers that they had a first amendment right to protect the confidentiality of their sources.

The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF), which assisted with the appeals hearing, argued that if the appeal was not granted all journalists that rely on information from confidential sources would be compromised.

According to Forbes, EFF lawyer Kurt Opsahl claimed the deadline to challenge an earlier appeals court ruling had passed and that Apple had filed paperwork indicating it had abandoned any challenge.

Free daily newsletter

If you like our news and feature articles, you can sign up to receive our free daily (Mon-Fri) email newsletter (mobile friendly).