Psystar, the company Apple is going after for making Mac-compatible clones without authorization, is apparently ready to take on Apple in court with "guns blazin'" come January 11, 2010. The PC maker has been tangled up in Apple's legal Web for months over copyright violation claims.
"A new trial date has been set for January 11, 2010, in federal court in San Francisco. As we move toward trial, we'll be keeping you informed about the arguments, the evidence, and what's going on in the case," the company said on its Web site. "And, come January, Camara & Sibley will be ready to fight for Psystar, guns blazin'. We hope to see you there!"
Apple filed a lawsuit against Psystar in northern California claiming the company was violating the Mac OS X licensing agreement with end users, and that it was violating the Digital Millennium Copyright Act with the steps it used to install the Mac operating system on PCs. Psystar claimed that it should be allowed to build and sell PCs with Mac OS X pre-installed and that Apple is overstepping its bounds by blocking companies from selling Mac clones.
That case stalled temporarily, however, when Psystar filed for bankruptcy protection in Florida due in part to its extensive legal bills. According to Psystar's filing the company owed Carr & Farrell, its legal team at the time, nearly $88,500.
The Florida court granted Apple's request to lift the automatic stay on its case, and shortly after Psystar moved to drop the bankruptcy saying it couldn't deal with the two cases at the same time. The Florida court hasn't yet agreed to drop the bankruptcy filing.
Psystar has since split from Carr & Farrell to hire Camara & Sibley -- the legal firm that's known for defending Jamie Thomas-Rasset against the RIAA in a trial that went poorly for her since she was ultimately hit with a US$1.92 million judgement.
Apple and Psystar are due to appear before a Magistrate Judge on July 30 to discuss the possibility of a settlement in the case, but there is no guarantee the two sides will reach an agreement on that date or before their scheduled trial on January 11, 2010.
According to Psystar, "Apple's copyright on OS X doesn't give Apple the right to tell people what they can do with it after they buy a copy. Apple can't tell an applications developer that it can't make a piece of Mac-compatible software. They can't forbid Mac users from writing blogs critical of Apple. And they can't tell us not to write kernel extensions that turn the computers we buy into Mac-compatible hardware."
Psystar's online horn-blowing, however, may not hold up in court. "Most of what Psystar says in this article are beside the point. Apple is asserting its right to prohibit OS X appearing and being expressed on anything other than computers or disk that legally carry Apple's trademark," an attorney familiar with this type of case told The Mac Observer.
He added, "All that stuff about writing kernel extensions and Mac compatible software would only have relevance to the extent that it involves an infringement of Apple's intellectual property rights in its software."
Psystar may be ready to head into court with its guns blazing, but the company may be in for a surprise if it shows up only to find that Apple's legal team likely carries bigger guns.