In the Apple vs. Psystar case in the Northern District of California, both parties have agreed to Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR). Which party asked for this cannot be known at this point, or even if they did. Sometimes a judge will strongly urge the parties to enter into voluntary ADR.
An attorney, who is following the case and wishes to remain anonymous, told TMO on Thursday that he discovered that the ADR process has been initiated and both parties have agreed to it.
"ADR is a private process whereby both parties can meet and work out a resolution in lieu of going to trial," he said. "Exactly why this has happened is not known at this point."
Under ADR, the parties "(1) Meet in non-binding arbitration (essentially the arbitrator judges the partiesi case by hearing their argument on the law and facts but has no authority to impose a settlement or adjudicate the matter); (2) Early Neutral Evaluation (ENE) is where an expert has the parties submit their statement of the facts and the law and provides each of them with his evaluation of the merits of their case (this evaluation of the each partyis case by a neutral expert facilitates settlement); and (3) Mediation is where the mediator get between the parties and simply tries to help the parties reach a negotiated settlement," he wrote.
This process will still require several months, but the outcome could result in a negotiated settlement, the terms of which could also remain secret.
Some notable recent events appear to relate to the case. Apple recently received a patent on the Mac OS X dock and President Bush recently signed into law a strengthened copyright bill that steepens penalties for intellectual property infringement. However, itis not possible to know, at this point, why the ADR was initiated, and the outcome, held private, may never be known to outsiders.