Apple, Psystar Settlement Conference Pushed to October

Apple and Psystar were scheduled to appear before a Judge on July 30 for a settlement conference for their legal battle over Psystar selling PCs with Mac OS X pre-installed, but the Internet was surprisingly void of information about the event after the fact. That's because the hearing was rescheduled for October 6 at the request of both companies.

The motion to postpone the meeting was jointly filed by Apple and Psystar so that it would fall after the August 21st fact discovery deadline, and because Psystar's new legal team was still familiarizing itself with the case.

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.

Psystar temporarily stalled its battle with Apple when it filed for bankruptcy protection in Florida after racking up over US$88,000 in unpaid legal bills to Carr & Farrell, the law firm that was handling the company's defense. Psystar has since hired 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 -- to handle its legal dealings with Apple.

The settlement hearing will put the two companies in front of a Magistrate Judge to discuss whether or not a settlement before the trial is a possibility. If it appears that a settlement is out of the question, which seems likely since Psystar has vowed to show up in court with "guns blazin'," the two companies will start counting the days until their January 11, 2010 trial date.

When Apple and Psystar finally do appear for their settlement hearing, don't expect to hear very much about the event afterwards. Settlement hearings are typically conducted in private with an emphasis on confidentiality -- unless one side choses to "leak" information after the hearing.