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Apple's Curious Failure to Act Against Psystar

Editorial - Apple's Curious Failure to Act Against Psystar

by , 4:50 PM EDT, May 21st, 2008

When Psystar, a Miami, Fla. company, started selling Mac clones pre-loaded with Mac OS X last month, everyone assumed that Apple would take immediate action. However, nothing has happened to date.

Several things may be going on, and no one is sure. Several theories are floating around.

Dow Jones reported recently that Apple is preparing to defend its IP rights and will take legal action soon. According to international IP law, the owner must police those IP rights immediately against significant infringements or lose them, I have been told. It could be that there is some threshold that must be reached, or that Apple is simply doing due diligence in its legal preparation. How long Apple has to defend its rights is not clear.

Theory #2, presented for the first time to my knowledge by Stephen Withers at ITWire is that Psystar is a front company for Apple, and the purpose is not yet clear. The statements made by the owners and the research Gizmodo did in the early days on them would seem to weigh against that, but it's still possible.

Finally, it could be that Psystar found a legal precedent in case law that backs them up and they're running with it until Apple figures out a better defense. [This is my guess.] Meanwhile, Psystar made some quick money. It's similar to when companies buy or discover that they already possess a nice weapon in their patent portfolio that they can use to raise some easy cash.

If Apple files a lawsuit soon, all doubts will be erased. In the meantime, the lack of prompt action by Apple has more and more people wondering what's going on and coming up with fascinating alternative theories.

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