Apple: Psystar Violated Court Protective Order

Apple most recent filing with the court in its case against Psystar for selling computers with Mac OS X preinstalled accused the PC maker of violating the court's protective order by discussing the case with a Harvard Law School professor. Psystar's legal team responded by saying the court order wasn't violated, and that Apple is making an unprofessional and personal attack on its lead counsel, Kiwi Camara.

According to Apple, Mr. Camara discussed the case with Professor Charles Nesson even though the professor wasn't included in the order prohibiting the release of information. Mr. Nesson then wrote about their discussion on his blog -- an entry that is now missing from the Web page.

Mr. Camara, however, claimed that the parts of the case he shared with Professor Nesson weren't covered by the protective order and that he wasn't acting in an unethical manner.

"Apple's reply brief and its supporting exhibits... and the posting on Nesson's blog incontrovertibly show that Psystar is attempting to make a public circus of this case so as to embarrass and place public pressure on Apple," an attorney familiar with this type of case told The Mac Observer. "If that is not unprofessional and/or unethical, it's getting about as close as you can get to that line without crossing it."

If Psystar is trying to create a public bias against Apple and potentially put pressure on the court, Judge Alsup, the Judge overseeing the case, will likely be very unhappy.

"Judge Alsup will now have to guard against the very kind of bias against Apple that Psystar is fomenting in selecting jurors and during any future trial. I am sure that Judge Alsup will be much obliged to Psystar for adding to his burdens in presiding over what was already a difficult and complex case," the attorney said.

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.

The case was temporarily stalled once when Psystar filed for bankruptcy protection in Florida, and Psystar has since petitioned the court to drop its bankruptcy proceedings. The company also 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 ultimately left her with a US$1.92 million judgement.

Psystar also filed a new case against Apple in Florida a few days ago that poses many of the same arguments and claims that Judge Alsup already shot down in California.

Apple also responded to requests from Psystar for detailed information about its product line profits and margins by stating the information is not relevant to Psystar's claims, and that the PC maker's track record with information shows there's a good chance the information could be leaked to the public.

The two companies are due to appear before Judge Alsup on September 4 to discuss Psystar's discovery dispute claims along with its case filing in Florida.