Judge Approves Settlement, Psystar Stops Selling Mac Clones

Judge William Alsup approved the partial settlement in Apple and Psystar's legal battle over whether or not the PC maker could build and sell Mac clones without Apple's permission on Tuesday. By Wednesday morning, Psystar's Web site still displayed its Mac clones, but listed all models as out of stock.

Psystar's Web site, however, still shows its Rebel EFI product as available. Rebel EFI lets users install Mac OS X on non-Apple hardware, in effect letting the company sell Mac clones but leaving end users to install Mac OS X themselves.

"Now Psystar simply sells grey boxes and offers Rebel EFI so that one can infringe Apple's copyright in Mac OS X and violate the DMCA all on their own," The Mac Observer's legal contact said. "We will see if Judge Alsup permits this to continue."

Apple filed a lawsuit against Psystar in Northern California several months ago claiming the small PC maker was violating the Mac OS X end user license 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 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.

Apple has also asked the court in California for a permanent injunction blocking Psystar from hacking Mac OS X, selling Mac clones, and from selling its Rebel EFI tool for installing Mac OS X on PCs. Psystar seems willing to agree to an injunction that includes nearly all of Apple's stipulations, but doesn't want to see Rebel EFI included.

Psystar filed a parallel lawsuit in Florida a few months ago alleging that Apple is abusing monopoly power by locking Mac OS X to its own hardware. Apple has filed a motion to dismiss the case or transfer it from the Florida court to California because the arguments in both cases are essentially the same and Judge Alsup has already ruled on the issues.

Once the proceedings in Judge Alsup's court are completed, Psystar's next move will be to take the case to the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals in hopes of overturning the rulings. The PC maker is also hoping to continue its parallel case in Florida, although that court may be inclined to hand the case off to Judge Alsup to avoid potential conflicts in rulings.