updated 06:00 pm EST, Sat November 14, 2009
Judge says Psystar clearly violated laws
Apple this week won a decisive victory in its lawsuit against clone maker Psystar. Judge William Alsup has ruled in a summary judgment that the Florida-based defendant had violated copyright laws, including the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) through creating and selling PCs with unauthorized copies of Mac OS X. By modifying the Mac OS X bootloader and kernel extensions to allow non-Apple hardware to run, Psystar has violated Apple's "exclusive right" to determine how and where Mac OS X runs, the judgment reads.
At the same time, the ruling dismisses Psystar's own request for a summary judgment, which claimed that Apple was abusing copyright to create a monopoly over Mac OS X. Judge Alsup supported the ruling by noting that Apple's end-user license only affects its own software and doesn't constitute unfair control of other companies' behavior.
The decision doesn't preclude the jury trial due in January but effectively renders Psystar's defense very difficult as it eliminates most of Psystar's core arguments. It also supports most of Apple's remaining complaints, including claims that Psystar has breached contract by violating the license and infringed on trademarks through unapproved associations with Apple's brands.
Neither Apple nor Psystar has commented on the judgment, which at trial may create a legal precedent that would shut down the handful of other Mac clone makers that have set up shop in Psystar's wake.