Psystar Halts Sales of Mac Clones, Plans Legal Appeal

Computerworld notes that unauthorized Mac clone manufacturer Psystar has stopped offering its line of PC hardware with Mac OS X preinstalled in the wake of a settlement agreement with Apple. All models are currently listed as "Out of Stock" on the company's website, although it continues to offer its Rebel EFI software solution to enable customers to install Mac OS X on their own, marking a shift in its business tactics in response to Apple's legal challenges.

Psystar has not given up its fight, however, as it has vowed to appeal a federal court judge's ruling in favor of Apple in its copyright infringement suit against Psystar. Under the terms of the $2.7 million settlement, Psystar is not required to make financial payments until all appeals have been heard.

"We will take the case up with the Ninth Circuit," said Psystar's chief attorney K.A.D. Camera of the Houston firm Camera & Sibley LLP. In an interview late Tuesday, Camera said Psystar will file an appeal with the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit over a Nov. 13 summary judgment by federal Judge William Alsup, who said Psystar violated Apple's copyright as well as the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) when it installed Apple's operating system on the clones it sells.

"We think that Judge Alsup got it wrong," said Camera. "The effect [of the settlement] is to allow the case to be heard by the Ninth Circuit," he continued, and characterized the settlement as "extremely favorable" to Psystar.

While the current case in California centers on Psystar's inclusion of Mac OS X Leopard on its systems, a second lawsuit is also pending in Florida, where Psystar has claimed that Apple is in violation of antitrust laws by limiting use of Mac OS X Snow Leopard to Apple hardware. That case is unaffected by the recent decision in the original California case or by the settlement agreement between the two companies.

Still pending in the California case is Apple's request for a permanent injunction that would formally prevent Psystar from offering Mac OS X on non-Apple hardware. The court will hear arguments on that request on December 14th and will then decide whether to grant the injunction, and if so, whether it will extend only to systems with Leopard pre-installed or whether to include Snow Leopard-based systems and even Psystar's standalone Rebel EFI software.

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