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Psystar suit stepping toward resolution outside court

updated 11:35 am EDT, Fri October 17, 2008

Psystar suit update

The heated legal battle between Apple and the Mac clone manufacturer, Psystar, has taken an unexpected turn that could lead to resolution without a trial, according to the Mac Observer. An attorney, who wishes to remain anonymous, has reported that the two parties agreed to try an Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR). Although both parties have agreed to start the process, it is unknown which company initiated the action, or if it was a result of a judge recommendation.

During the ADR process, the parties can meet in non-binding arbitration, where a third party reviews the arguments presented by each side, including their legal arguments and facts. The arbitrator does not have authority to impose a settlement or make an official determination, however.

Another possibility for the process is an Early Neutral Evaluation (ENE), in which an expert evaluates each side's statement of the facts and applicable laws and responds to each party with a report of the merits of their case, at which time a settlement could be reached. The third option would be mediation, where a third party tries to help each side produce a negotiated settlement.

A few of the reasons that plaintiffs and defendants choose ADR include secrecy or lowering of costs associated with the dispute. Any settlement can remain a secret, which is sometimes preferred by corporations that could receive negative publicity, or similar lawsuits, if they lose a case in court. Alternatively, if one party expects to lose a case eventually, and the monetary settlement could bankrupt the company, they may choose to fold and settle for a lesser amount or terms that still allow the business to function.

The dispute between the companies began when Apple sued Psystar for producing Mac clones that operate with a modified version of the Mac OS X operating system, claiming copyright infringement and violation of the End User License Agreement (EULA). Psystar defended itself with a countersuit against Apple, accusing the company of illegally controlling the Mac market and driving prices artificially high. Recently, Apple has filed to have the court dismiss the monopoly countersuit.

The company is under fire from several directions with monopoly charges, including a lawsuit this week filed by a Taiwan-based MP3 player manufacturer that accused the company of monopolizing the media player and music download markets. The iPhone is also involved in several legal battles, such as a class action suit that claims violation of the Sherman Act, Cartwright Act, and Federal Trade Commission Act. Apple's motion to dismiss the suit was rejected.

by MacNN Staff




    Comment buried. Show
  1. Guest

    Joined: Dec 1969



    this is music to my ears!! :)

    F*K apple!

  1. rtbarry

    Joined: Dec 1969


    how is this music to....

    ...your ears when there is no outcome yet, dumbass?

  1. danviento

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Not a DA, just a moron.

    I think our first poster fails to realize that Apple in no way has a monopoly, just a very successful business model. They control the hardware AND software to sell the machines as better tools. Think of it as quality control.

    The computer hardware/software markets have plenty of competitors for OS's and prebuilt machines. Just because Apple had the smarts to bind their work together in contracts to protect the reputation of their work doesn't make it criminal. There are plenty of alternatives out there. Choose one if you don't like what Apple has to give. No one said you had to buy their product, and you can do the same work with other tools.

    I'd like to be able to assemble a machine and have Mac OS X supported on it for less than the cost of a Mac Pro, but I know that if I want quality and support for any issues related to hardware software, I'll get what I pay for with a Mac Pro. Sure I'd like to pay less, and I could for less quality, but I'd rather pay more and get what I pay for.

  1. Guest

    Joined: Dec 1969



    Agreed -- just because you WANT OS X on generic PC hardware doesn't mean you GET OS X on generic PC hardware.NExT also integrated hardware and software... no one accused them of being a monopoly. And, in fact, being a monopoly isn't illegal -- it's using monopolistic practices to unfairly shove others out of business/competition that's illegal, and Apple has done none of that.Apple has every right to only allow Mac OS X to run on their hardware. Anyone who thinks otherwise doesn't know enough United States copyright law to have any merit to their opinions.

  1. shmoolie

    Joined: Dec 1969


    The company is NOT...

    What a way to keep up your bull**** reporting macNN:

    "The company is under fire from several directions with monopoly charges..."

    Under fire? Really? Just because some idiots file a lawsuit claiming something doesn't mean that they're under fire. It's nuisance stuff and Apple has a bunch of well paid attorneys to deal with it.

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