Apple may have won yet another legal victory over would-be unauthorized Mac clone maker Psystar last week, but the attorney representing the firm said in an interview Monday the case was, “far from over.”
The comments came in the aftermath of Psystar losing an appeal to a case won by Apple in 2009 that resulted in Psystar being barred from selling PCs with Mac OS X installed or in any way facilitating other people in installing Apple’s operating system on non-Apple hardware.
A three judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals, Ninth Circuit, issued a ruling on Wednesday, September 28th (read TMO’s full coverage for more information) that upheld a district judge’s 2009 ruling that found Psystar guilty of violating Apple’s copyrights.
Be that as it may, K.A.D. Camera of the Houston firm Camera & Sibley LLP, the firm representing Psystar in the case, told Computerworld, “This is far from over. There is at least one more round, perhaps two.”
As we reported last week, the attorney is considering requesting an en banc review of the three judge panel’s ruling. If granted, the full bench of judges would look over the homework of the three judges looking for errors. Mr. Camera said that he is also considering petitioning the U.S. Supreme Court, the last stop in the U.S. legal system.
“We haven’t decided yet,” he told the magazine.
Why would he do so? After losing at every stage in this contest, why would Mr. Camera continue to represent a bankrupt company in a case that, if he won, would mean than no company could legally protect a whole widget computer solution?
Why, because this fight is larger than just li’l ol’ Psystar.
“The principal issue in the case is Apple’s limiting Mac OS X to its own hardware,” Mr. Camera said. “But this is more than only Psystar. It could determine whether the likes of Dell can sell machines that run OS X.”
Never mind that the retail price of OS X is heavily subsidized by the profits Apple makes on its hardware, and never mind that Apple’s right to compete in an open market place by offering a proprietary whole widget solution would be severely compromised if Psystar were to win.
Conspiracy theorists have long bandied about the notion that Psystar’s court case was being financed by outside pockets. Apple itself suggested in court documents that such might be the case, and Mr. Camera’s comment above will likely be seized upon by proponents of such theories as further evidence of some kind of nefarious scheme.
To that effect, Computerworld asked Mr. Camera if there were other parties involved in the case, a question he declined to answer, saying, “I can’t answer that question, but I am not representing Dell.”
Some could accept that as an adequate denial, while others may consider it even more grist for the rumor mill. Your mileage may vary, as well.
We said above that Psystar has lost at every turn in this long running case, but there is one area where the company has seemingly scored a victory, even if it is Pyrrhic in nature. We reported last week that Apple had requested that documents from the case be sealed, claiming that proprietary information was revealed in some of them.
The three judge panel rejected the request, stipulating that Judge William Alsup had, “fail[ed] to articulate the rationale underlying its decision to seal.” (Note that the documents remain sealed currently).
Mr. Camera said this ruling from the Court of Appeals was, “significant because Apple has tried to keep secret how it limits [Mac OS X] to its hardware, even though that information is in the public domain.”
iStockPhoto.com contributed to some images in this article.