updated 03:55 pm EDT, Wed October 1, 2008
Apple files dismiss suit
Apple has formally filed to have a District Court Judge dismiss Psystar's monopoly countersuit, according to a ZDNet blog. This marks the latest move in the ongoing legal battle between the two companies. The court papers ask Judge William Alsup to dismiss the counterclaims with prejudice, which would protect Apple against the lawsuit and prevent Psystar from filing another similar suit in the future. The initial hearing is scheduled for November 6th.
The document reaffirms Apple's original suit filed in July by claiming that the clone maker knowingly infringed its copyrights and trademarks, while encouraging others to do the same. Psystar is further accused of attempting to divert attention from its illegal activity with a frivolous countersuit, and of "ignoring fundamental principles of antitrust law, and the realities of the marketplace."
Apple argues that their market has plenty of competition from other companies, and denies that it monopolizes a "Mac-only" market. Psystar is further accused of trying to use the court to force Apple to license its "proprietary software" to competitors for use on other hardware, which the company says must be rejected on the basis that "neither the federal nor the state antitrust laws require competitors to stop competing with, and instead start helping, each other."
The clone manufacturer's countersuit goes into more detail by attempting to define the market differently, by developing the idea that the wide range of software available exclusively for the Mac platform makes it an entirely separate market, one that is controlled solely by Apple. The counterclaim also asserts that the EULA prohibition of the software from being used on other hardware allows the company to artificially inflate the prices of hardware to take advantage of the alleged monopoly.
The drama began in July, when Apple sued the clone manufacturer for license, copyright, and trademark infringement for selling computers that are built with cheaper PC hardware but run Mac OS X. Psystar solicited the help of Carr and Ferrell, LLP, a firm that has won a large settlement from Apple in the past.
The legal fight could have significant implications for the market; a loss by Apple could inspire a wave of clone hardware production, a prospect that the company is surely investing significant resources to avoid.