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Psystar hires well-known lawyers in battle with Apple

updated 08:45 pm EDT, Wed July 30, 2008

Psystar gears for fight

Facing a lawsuit from Apple, Mac clone maker Psystar is showing signs it may be gearing up for a fight. The company has hired a California law firm that has beaten Apple in the past, according to a report in Computerworld. In court papers filed Monday, Psystar was represented by lawyers from Carr and Ferrell, LLP, who filed a request for an extension on a deadline to respond to Apple's lawsuit. Both sides agreed to the extension, which gives Psystar until August 18 to file a response. Apple claims Psystar violated copyright, contract, trademark and unfair competition laws when it installed and marketed Mac OS X10.5 on its OpenComputer and OpenServ machines.

Computerworld says Carr and Ferrell's website touts its experience in intellectual property law. The company is no stranger to fights with Apple, having represented Burst.com in a patent infringement suit in 2006. The case was eventually settled out of court with Apple paying $10 million to license Burst.com audio- and video-streaming patents. The firm also took on Microsoft in a similar suit, settling for $60 million.

In April Psystar became the first Mac clone maker to directly challenge the End User Licensing Agreement for Mac OSX 10.5, which says the software can only be used on Apple hardware. SInce then two other firms -- OpenTech and RSOL -- have started selling Mac clones. Psystar has pledged to aggressively fight the Leopard EULA, claiming the strict licensing terms violate anti-trust laws. The company says Apple "grossly overcharges" for its hardware and its EULA prevents competitors from selling lower-cost alternatives.




by MacNN Staff

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Comments

  1. wymer100

    Joined: Dec 1969

    +4

    As much as I...

    would love to mac clones, I think Psystar is wrong. Apple can do what it wants with it's OS license. Sony, Nintendo, and MS don't license their console OS. As long as you start with Apple hardware, then you can upgrade it with regular off the shelf parts.

  1. robttwo

    Joined: Dec 1969

    +2

    filibuster

    Apple will dink around with this until it is no longer relevant, ie. when they add some kind of hardward/software "hook" that will prevent this from happening.

    Pystar is a bunch of Doofuses, anyway.

  1. fubar_this

    Joined: Dec 1969

    -6

    re: filibuster

    If Apple tries to "wait it out" then it would be years. Apple has to support Snow Leopard on all Macs shipping right now. Apple's Macs are off-the-shelf PCs with Mac OS X on top and a s*** exterior. Apple can add custom ASICs in the future to their chipset, but for the next 2-3 years (maybe more), Apple is stuck supporting Mac OS X on top of today's hardware which have nothing custom in them. And even then, people will work around it—people reverse engineered the Mac ROM years and years ago, way before the Internet.

    I personally don't mind Psystar's lawsuit--if I buy Leopard off the shelf, I should be able to run it on whatever computer I want. It's the same argument people (like me) use to justify ripping DVDs--it's my movie, I should be able to watch it wherever. It violates the DMCA, but it's my movie!

  1. Deros

    Joined: Dec 1969

    -8

    Let Them

    Apple should let people or third party vendors install OS X on any computer they want. It will generate more revenue for apple, and all them to use the extra cash to a make innovative products.

    However, I don't believe that Apple should be forced to provide tech support. If OS X will not install, that is on the third party vendor or the consumer to figure it out. If OS X crashes on a non-apple approved hardware, then it is not their problem. The only support they should provide are those consumers that purchased OS X and installed on apple approved hardware. Also, Apple should be under no obligation that OS X will not break, intentionally or unintentionally, third party hardware.

    With that stipulation: Consumers will have a choice. Inexpensive computer running OS X that has no support and may cause serious frustration or Apple approved computers that are not as prone to bugs.

  1. ViktorCode

    Joined: Dec 1969

    +4

    No chance for Psystar

    Even if the troll-protecting law firm will fend off 3 of 4 charges Psystar will be dead anyway. EULA? Apple even haven't mentioned that. Also, Psystar victory would have disastrous consequences for Apple, so Apple will fight full strength.

    For those of you who think that Apple should licence OS X to PC vendors consider this: actual licensed Mac clones did suck. If you want to have OS X on your PC then don't be a lazy bum and install it by yourself. Buy Mac OS X if this will make you feel better, but don't expect Apple helping you along with that. Apple was turning blind eye on hackintosh community since its inception, though they certainly can make life harder for PC installers. Let it continue that way, without greedy excuse for a company trying to squeeze its fat slimy body between hackintosh users and Apple to sell their sub-par hardware.

    Die, Psystar. Just die.

  1. JulesLt

    Joined: Dec 1969

    +1

    Send in the Clones

    Actual clones sucked. Psystar's machines by all account blow. Lots of air.

  1. JulesLt

    Joined: Dec 1969

    -2

    Send in the Clones

    Actual clones sucked. Psystar's machines by all account blow. Lots of air.

  1. robttwo

    Joined: Dec 1969

    +2

    knuckleheads

    Yeah, fubar, Macs are "off the shelf PCs" -- you're obviously a technological genius!

    I will say this once more -- Macs are not software and they are not hardware -- they are BOTH. They are integrated and that is what maintains both the quality and the ease of use. (Which is why the clones in the past were woeful and almost killed the company.)

    And fubar, you are amazingly stupid. Ie - yes, it's your DVD, and you should be able to watch it wherever. But you don't have the right to watch it on a washing machine or toaster.

    Doofuses.

  1. dynsight

    Joined: Dec 1969

    +3

    You make a choice

    I like Apple computers because there is no extra futzing. I rarely have driver issue, crashes, incompatibility problems.

    Some hardcore people love tinkering, for them, get Linux. I need my time to be productive, which is what OSX allows me to be. Apple made the software, and they say you can use it only on their hardware. We all know that going in. If you don't like it, buy another OS. That seems a reasonable option, does it not?

    I think, in general, EULA's need to be revisited and changed. Many EULA's are confusing and overly restrictive (for example, many prevent you from reselling the software to another user). Apple is very clear and upfront about this issue; there is no misrepresentation regarding this.

    That being said, Darwin is based on FreeBSD. There may be a loophole there, although I am sure Apple investigated this and closed that loophole long ago.

  1. Flesh-faced Recruit

    Joined: Dec 1969

    +3

    Apple a vertical business

    The reason Mac OS X runs so nicely is that it doesn't need to support thousands of video cards and other hardware do-dads. Apple decided on a vertical business model that has them writing software for their own hardware. Microsoft took the horizontal approach of trying to be everything to everyone. You decide which you prefer.

    That said, I would not want to run Mac OS X on a generic clone any more than I'd want to run Windows on a generic clone. My experience is that you get what you pay for.

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