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 openmac
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.

Top Rated Comments

cvaldes Avatar
120 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.
Score: 15 Votes (Like | Disagree)
chirpie Avatar
120 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.
Score: 15 Votes (Like | Disagree)
charlieegan3 Avatar
120 months ago
it's the new Mac pro! wait a minute...
Score: 13 Votes (Like | Disagree)
shaunp Avatar
120 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.
Score: 12 Votes (Like | Disagree)
WoFat Avatar
120 months ago
I'm a Cheap Bastard, Too

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.
Score: 11 Votes (Like | Disagree)
InuNacho Avatar
120 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.

Score: 11 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Top Stories

REC ASA CODE2016 20160601 205816 2745

Elon Musk Reportedly Demanded to Become Apple CEO as Part of Potential Tesla Acquisition [Update: Musk Denies]

Friday July 30, 2021 9:04 am PDT by
Tesla CEO Elon Musk reportedly once demanded that he be made Apple CEO in a brief discussion of a potential acquisition with Apple's current CEO, Tim Cook. The claim comes in a new book titled "Power Play: Tesla, Elon Musk and the Bet of the Century," as reviewed by The Los Angeles Times. According to the book, during a 2016 phone call between Musk and Cook that touched on the possibility of ...
General Apps Messages

Android iMessage Competitor Puts Pressure on Apple

Friday July 30, 2021 3:15 am PDT by
Google and the three major U.S. carriers, including Verizon, AT&T, and T-Mobile, will all support a new communications protocol on Android smartphones starting in 2022, a move that puts pressure on Apple to adopt a new cross-platform messaging standard and may present a challenge to iMessage. Verizon recently announced that it is planning to adopt Messages by Google as its default messaging...
iPhone 13 Always On Feature

iPhone 13 to Bring Over a Major Feature From the Apple Watch

Wednesday July 28, 2021 2:21 am PDT by
Apple's upcoming iPhone 13 lineup will feature an always-on display akin to the Apple Watch Series 5 and Series 6, according to recent reports. In his weekly Power On newsletter, Bloomberg journalist Mark Gurman, who often reveals accurate insights into Apple's plans, said that the iPhone 13 may feature an Apple Watch-inspired always-on mode. The Apple Watch Series 5 and Apple Watch...
duracell battery bitter coating

Apple Says Don't Buy AirTag Replacement Batteries With Bitter Coating

Wednesday July 28, 2021 11:08 am PDT by
Since AirTags were just released earlier this year and are expected to have a year-long battery life, it may be some time yet before AirTag users need a replacement battery, but when the time comes for a refresh, Apple is warning customers not to buy batteries with a bitter coating. AirTags use coin-shaped CR2032 batteries, which happen to be a size that's easy to swallow. Some battery...
a15 chip

iPhone 13 and Redesigned MacBook Pro Chip Production Hit With Gas Contamination

Friday July 30, 2021 5:44 am PDT by
The most important TSMC factory that manufactures Apple's chips destined for next-generation iPhone and Mac models has been hit by a gas contamination, according to Nikkei Asia. The factory, known as "Fab 18," is TSMC's most advanced chipmaking facility. TSMC is Apple's sole chip supplier, making all of the processors used in every Apple device with a custom silicon chip. Industry...
apple rtp land

Apple Preparing to Occupy 200,000 Square Feet of Temporary Space Ahead of New $1 Billion North Carolina Campus

Thursday July 29, 2021 9:14 am PDT by
Back in April, Apple announced a $430 billion investment over the next five years to create more than 20,000 new jobs as the company continues to expand. One significant piece of that plan is a new engineering and research center in North Carolina where Apple will be investing over $1 billion and hiring at least 3,000 employees. Assemblage of seven properties in Research Triangle Park owned by ...
Apple Leak Feature

Apple Demands Leaker Reveals Sources Under Threat of Being Reported to Police

Wednesday July 28, 2021 6:53 am PDT by
Apple has sent a cease and desist letter to a leaker based in China as part of its continuing attempts to curtail leaks of unreleased products, according to Vice. A Chinese citizen who shared images of stolen Apple prototypes on social media was sent a warning letter from Fangda Partners, Apple's law firm in China, on June 18, 2021. An extract from the letter read:You have disclosed without ...
macos monterey tidbits feature copy

Apple Releases New macOS 12 Monterey Public Beta

Wednesday July 28, 2021 10:19 am PDT by
Apple today seeded the third public beta of the macOS 12 Monterey beta to public beta testers, allowing non-developers to test the new macOS Monterey software ahead of its public release. The third beta comes two weeks after Apple released the second macOS Monterey public beta. Public beta testers can download the macOS 12 Monterey update from the Software Update section of the System...
iOS 15 General Feature Purple

Apple Releases New Public Betas of iOS 15, iPadOS 15, watchOS 8, and tvOS 15

Wednesday July 28, 2021 10:16 am PDT by
Apple today seeded the third betas of iOS and iPadOS 15 to public beta testers, allowing non-developers to download and test the new updates ahead of their fall release. The third public betas come two weeks after Apple released the second public betas. Public beta testers who have signed up for Apple's beta testing program can download the iOS and iPadOS 15 updates over the air after...
nothing ear 1 buds 1

Nothing 'Ear (1)' True Wireless Earbuds Launch to Take on AirPods Pro With ANC and Unusual Design for $99

Tuesday July 27, 2021 7:57 am PDT by
Nothing, a new brand from OnePlus founder Carl Pei, has today officially launched the "Ear (1)" true wireless earbuds after months of anticipation around the company's AirPods Pro rival. The Ear (1) features an in-ear design, Active Noise Cancelation, Bluetooth 5.2, IPX4 water resistance, and a charging case with Qi-compatible wireless charging and a USB-C port. Fast pairing is supported on...