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Psystar Case Comes to a Close as U.S. Supreme Court Declines Review

More than four years after Psystar challenged Apple by first selling $399 unauthorized Mac clones and later shifting tactics to offer software supporting installation of Mac OS X Snow Leopard on PCs, the dispute between the two companies has finally reached its conclusion. As noted by CNET, Psystar's persistent legal appeals have now been exhausted as the U.S. Supreme Court has declined to review an appellate court ruling from last September upholding a ban on Psystar's sales of Mac clones.
Following a rejection of Psystar's appeal to that decision in September, the company's lawyers vowed to take it up to the Supreme Court. "This is far from over," K.A.D. Camara of Houston law firm Camara & Sibley LLP told Computerworld in an interview. The company kept to its word, and filed for a review from the Supreme Court on December 27, 2011.

"We are sad," Camara told CNET by e-mail this evening. "I'm sure that the Supreme Court will take a case on this important issue eventually."
Psystar's persistence that saw the company press the issue with Apple as far as the courts would allow led Apple to suggest a potential conspiracy, questioning why a small company would be so bold in the face of Apple's legal action and how it could have financed the expensive court battles. No such conspiracy was ever revealed, however, with Psystar's financial backing remaining something of a mystery.


Psystar's original "OpenMac" Mac clone, quickly rebranded "Open Computer" to skirt Apple's trademarks

While Apple was quick to file suit against Psystar in July 2008 and an initial injunction against Psystar effectively shut down the company in December 2009, the court cases continued to play out over an additional period of nearly two and half years. Psystar attempted to fund its legal defense during some of that time by soliciting donations and selling T-shirts, and did somehow manage to secure enough funding to support filing several more appeals taking the case all the way to the Supreme Court.

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31 months ago

it's the new Mac pro! wait a minute...


For half of a second, my brain saw a tower image as the page loaded. I was temporarily excited that we had some new Mac Pro news... and then, disappointment.

I can't help it. Their tower is still the apple product I use the most. By a sizable margin.
Rating: 15 Votes
31 months ago
Since you do not seem to understand this basic point, I will mention it right here:

There are functional clones and there are design clones.

The Psystar machine was a Mac clone in function, although it did not closely resemble the Mac in design. Psystar managed to cobble together commodity PC components and find workarounds in the Mac OS X installation process to get their boxes to run. The End User License Agreement for OS X prohibits the use of OS X on anything by a computer manufactured by Apple Inc. (formerly Apple Computer Inc.).

By creating an environment which allowed OS X to run on a third-party system, they basically created a Mac clone in function.

That's why Apple won the initial lawsuit. It's also why the appellate court upheld the initial ruling. SCOTUS probably found that the appellate court had adequately addressed the issue and is therefore not interested in re-examining the case.
Rating: 15 Votes
31 months ago
it's the new Mac pro! wait a minute...
Rating: 13 Votes
31 months ago
It would be interesting to know how they ran. Personally I find Apple's current desktop lineup a bit limited. I want something between the mini and the Pro, and the iMac just doesn't cut it as I don't want an all in one. If Apple made such a machine I would buy it.
Rating: 12 Votes
31 months ago

In what way was it a Mac "clone"? It looks nothing like a Mac, and having it configured with OSX would have just made it a computer running OS X, not a mac clone, right?


Used in the spirit of what used to be an "IBM clone" the terminology is correct.
Rating: 11 Votes
31 months ago
Yeah, baby. I buy EVERYTHING on price alone and I would have bought one of these ugly puppies too. Priced low enough I could give one to each of my 11 kids that were the end result of buying the cheapest condoms.
Rating: 11 Votes
31 months ago

Yeah, the 700-800 (IIRC) computers that Psystar sold really proves a lot. :rolleyes:


It proves people want a Mac desktop but don't want the overly expensive un-upradable Mini, the giant glass iMac or the $2,500 entry level Pro.

Not necessarily lower end, really. Nothing would make me happier than a mini tower with the same specs as the mid-higher end iMacs.

Why does Apple hate PCI slots? :(


A mini tower or at least a Pro that didn't break the bank for prosumers or someone that just wants expandability. What we all want is the old Power Mac G4 pricing and set up. Cheap lower specced single CPUs and more expensive dual CPUs.

Rating: 11 Votes
31 months ago
Well, you can still buy a PC with OS X on it in Germany: http://pearc.de.

German laws are different than US American laws. Microsoft learned that lesson back in the year 2000 with the so-called "OEM Urteil" when the German Bundesgerichtshof made it clear that several of Microsoft's EULA terms were illegal. This significantly changed Microsoft's business model in German and since then OEM and SystemBuilder versions can be sold and re-sold WITHOUT being bundled with a specific hardware.

Now Apple's EULA for OS X basically tries to force a bundle between their operating system and very specific hardware -- which essentially is the same what Microsoft tried to do with their OEM software license agreements.

PearC does not pre-install Apple's operating system software. They just provide the hardware and certain software that allows for booting and installing a RETAIL BOX VERSION of OS X. No copyright infringement there. No modification of Apple's software. And since German laws make certain EULA terms illegal that Apple nevertheless still have in their EULA, Apple's legal department has zero case against those guys.

On a technical note, I do not know how well those PearC machines work. I know from own experiments that OS X runs pretty well on certain Dell machines. I also know that Windows and Ubuntu Linux run very well on Apple hardware. And none of this is very surprising, because a Mac is basically just a standard, off-the-shelf Intel PC in a pretty designer case. So as long as the PC hardware resembles the hardware configuration of a Mac, there is no technical reason why OS X should not work on it.
Rating: 10 Votes
31 months ago

people compare the mac pro to a hackintosh with desktop specs because the mac pro is apples only tower model. I have a diy pc that runs only windows 7 the mac pro is the only unit that apple makes that will do what this pc does. I have my pc hooked up to a 46 inch tv. only a mac mini or a mac pro will work for what I want. mac mini is a fail due to bad graphics. mac pro is a fail due to price.

A lot of people just go out and build a hackintosh pc I did not I went legal to get what I want a mac mini with windows via vm ware fusion and a diy pc. Why I still saved 1k over a mac pro with my setup. I did it legally.

My setup was about 1.7k with outstanding graphics. Also my pc and my mac mini are smaller then a mac pro and pull under 100 watts vs 200 plus for a mac pro.


There have been many clamoring for a Mac tower between the top iMac and Mac Pro, allowing the ability to upgrade graphics cards/PCIe cards for eSATA/USB 3.0/internal SATA HDDs/RAM/Blu-Ray (movie houses/editors especially) while using their own displays and HID's (iMac's only allow for RAM upgrade's, and their panel's aren't the best for editing for reasons discussed at length).

Since Apple went to Intel from PPC, the PowerMac G4/G5's increased from the mid-$1k to mid-$2k price point. This halted many businesses from investing in Mac Pro systems, not because they aren't needed or that the iMac fit their needs but because Apple slowly began neglecting these systems and the pro-Apps became less "pro" (Note: Steve Jobs stated in 2004 in a room full of professionals after acquiring "Shake" that their input would no longer be required by Apple, that states a lot right there).

The argument that Apple "left" work stations/pro systems because it's a dying segment is erroneous, it's tantamount to stating Nokia once left the smart phone industry because it was a dying industry. Apple is choosing to neglect power systems, not because there's no money in it. Many businesses have thousands set for system/software licensing upgrades, it's not uncommon for $100k+ for one business to spend on upgrades. That ain't chump change.

Apple broke into the mobile ARM market with money made from the professionals who bought PowerMac's and their stunning 3 model CCFL LCD line after Jobs [rightfully] cut out the peripherals that were losing money around 1997 when he restructured Apple. That money went into R&D for the iPad/Fingerworks buy out around 2004 that lead to the iPhone in 2007 and so on. Apple made a killing in iDevices, now having $100 Bill in cash reserves. This doesn't mean Apple made their money because desktops and power systems are dead in a "post-PC era", that's so ridiculous it's insane. There is a market for power desktops, try editing movies on a top iMac, especially HD, my 12-Core Mac Pro struggles at times. An iMac just doesn't cut it, especially when two displays and a monitor are pretty standard.

Point: Apple has enough cash to support both the consumer and professional markets. They'd be remiss not to do so.
Rating: 7 Votes
31 months ago
This was like a ufo sigthing.... a Mac Pro sighting...

...and then it was not.... just a weather balloon... a Psystar.

All those mistaken Mac Pro sightings in this thread show how necessary the Mac Pro is.

For really challenging work there's nothing better to have a cool, quiet tower with lots of RAM and drives neatly inside...

...versus a hot running, fanning MBP with a thousand cables connecting to countless external hard drives so it looks like a screenshot to "Along Came A Spider".

And the iMac neatly combines the downsides of the MBP (lack of expandability, cables mess, temperature) with the downsides of the Mac Pro (not easy to transport).

Boy, do we need a Mac Pro!
Rating: 6 Votes

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