Apple, Psystar Locked in Discovery Dispute


Apple's lawsuit against Psystar took an interesting turn on Tuesday when Apple was granted a motion to file its discovery brief and exhibits under seal, meaning the documents and information will remain confidential and out of the public eye. The move indicates the two companies are likely embroiled in a major discovery dispute.

Apple filed a lawsuit against Psystar in U.S. District Court northern California claiming the company was violating the Mac OS X end user licensing agreement, and that it was violating the Digital Millennium Copyright Act with the steps it used to install the Mac operating system on PCs. Psystar countered that it is within its rights 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.

Apple and Psystar are scheduled to appear before Judge Alsup, the Judge hearing the case, to discuss the discovery dispute at 9:30AM on August 20. Like Apple's brief and exhibits, the hearing will be sealed and private as well.

The two companies are also scheduled to appear before a Magistrate Judge on October 6 for a hearing to determine whether or not there's any possibility of settling the case out of court. That settlement hearing had originally been set for July 30, but was postponed so that it would fall after the August 21 discovery deadline, and so that Psystar's new legal team could get up to speed on the case.

Psystar replaced its original legal team of Carr & Farrell with Camara & Sibley, the legal firm that's known for defending Jamie Thomas-Rasset against the RIAA in a trial that that turned her US$22,000 penalty into a $1.92 million fine. Since Camara & Sibley came on board after court proceedings were well under way, they needed some time to familiarize themselves with the case.

There's no word on what Apple wants to keep secret in its discovery exhibits, and since next Thursday's hearing will be sealed means the public won't be able to find out, either. The closed door nature of the hearing also means that the public won't be able to watch in on what's likely to be a (to borrow a phrase from Psystar) "guns blazin'" event.