Psystar, Apple enter partial settlement to cease clone Mac sales

Posted:
in General Discussion edited January 2014
After 17 months of litigation between Apple and clone Mac maker Psystar, the whole ordeal may soon be at an end, with an agreement between the two parties expected to be revealed this week.



Psystar on Monday filed a new document with Judge William Alsup in a San Francisco court revealing that it and Apple had entered into a "partial settlement" that will be filed with the court on Tuesday. The revelation came as part of a response to Apple's request for a permanent injunction, filed last week.



Based on Psystar's claims, the agreement would seem to cover the sale of all clone hardware with Mac OS X preinstalled. Apple originally filed suit against Psystar in July of 2008 due to the Florida company's selling of unauthorized machines with the operating system installed.



Per the terms of the alleged deal, Psystar would pay Apple damages of an unspecified amount, and Apple would agree to drop the bulk of its case.



"Psystar has agreed on certain amounts to be awarded as statutory damages on Apple's copyright claims in exchange for Apple's agreement not to execute on these awards until all appeals in this matter have been concluded," Monday's court filing reads. "Moreover, Apple has agreed to voluntarily dismiss all its trademark, trade-dress, and state-law claims. This partial settlement eliminates the need for a trial and reduces the issues before this Court to the scope of any permanent injunction on Apple's copyright claims."



Further details of the settlement are due to be filed in the California court Tuesday.



But Psystar hopes that the court will not extend any potential injunction to its Rebel EFI product. The filing made Monday notes that Rebel EFI, which allows third-party installation of Mac OS X on unauthorized computers, is a "product that has not been litigated in this case, that has not been the subject of discovery in this case, that is presently the subject of litigation in the Florida case, that is composed exclusively of Psystar software, that is not sold in conjunction with any hardware, and that is sold entirely apart from any copy of Mac OS X or any computer running Mac OS X."



Revealed in October, Rebel EFI is a $50 application that allows certain Intel-powered PCs to run Mac OS X 10.6 Snow Leopard. In its filing last week, Apple alleged that Psystar has taken to "trafficking in circumvention devices," a practice that will irreparably harm Apple.



While Psystar claims it has agreed to pay damages to Apple, the Cupertino, Calif., company suggested last week that the Florida corporation would be unable to offer any money. Psystar filed for bankruptcy this May, only to emerge from Chapter 11.



The beginning of the end for Psystar came in November, when Alsup ruled in favor of Apple on a number of summary judgment points. Alsup concluded that Psystar infringed on copyrights owned by Apple and was in violation of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act.



Despite the summary judgment, a number of issues remained to be resolved in court prior to the alleged settlement: Apple alleged that Psystar engaged in breach of contract, trademark infringement, trademark dilution, and unfair competition, among others. The trial was scheduled to start in January 2010.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 44
    old-wizold-wiz Posts: 194member
    I would think Apple would want to demand that there be a full trial for damages that would totally gut Psystar. It sounds like nothing is going to happen to Psystar and they will be able to continue what they are doing now. They have no money they say, so they can't pay damages. There seems to be nothing to stop Psystar from continuing their business. Apple has spent lots of money on attorneys, and I would think they want something to show for it.
  • Reply 2 of 44
    quadra 610quadra 610 Posts: 6,741member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by old-wiz View Post


    I would think Apple would want to demand that there be a full trial for damages that would totally gut Psystar. It sounds like nothing is going to happen to Psystar and they will be able to continue what they are doing now. They have no money they say, so they can't pay damages. There seems to be nothing to stop Psystar from continuing their business. Apple has spent lots of money on attorneys, and I would think they want something to show for it.



    The injunction stands, at least that's what i got from the reading. Psystar will be barred from operating a business selling Mac clones. It's just that Apple won't financially rape them as hard as was originally expected.



    More detail here:



    http://www.computerworld.com/s/artic...7&pageNumber=2



    http://www.slashgear.com/psystar-agr...angle-0164805/
  • Reply 3 of 44
    crees!crees! Posts: 501member
    Quote:

    Based on Psystar's claims, the agreement would seem to cover the sale of all clone hardware with Mac OS X preinstalled.



    Just don't preinstall and send the disc to the purchaser. Obviously AI doesn't have all the info. It will be interesting to see the final outcome of this.
  • Reply 4 of 44
    quadra 610quadra 610 Posts: 6,741member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by crees! View Post


    Just don't preinstall and send the disc to the purchaser. Obviously AI doesn't have all the info. It will be interesting to see the final outcome of this.



    This makes more sense, yes. The real issue in this case is how Psystar is still further enabling the customer (using your particular example.) In effect, the customer would simply become a hackintosh user, but with special advantages, which is the sticky part.



    What we know from the outset is that Psystar, on a realistic economic level, poses no threat to Apple for the time being. No one is buying their crap. Less than a thousand units. It's laughable. The clone threat is rather more insidious and is untested long-term. Apple seems to be alright with letting the Psystar fly live, but with its wings torn off. I'm not sure which is more sad, a dead Psystar or a crippled one.
  • Reply 5 of 44
    mactrippermactripper Posts: 1,328member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Quadra 610 View Post


    It's just that Apple won't financially rape them as hard as was originally expected.





    It's that Apple can't, the company is intentionally broke.



    Apple got what it wanted, was to stop them from making clones, which was to be expected.





    The folks at Pystar played their poison trump card, which was releasing Rebel EFI to the masses.



    Sure they got a few bucks here and there, but it's obviously been torrented to the masses.





    Now future versions of Rebel EFI, that could continue as a business model while Apple and Pystar hack it out in court all over again.



    Then when that fails, Pystar just goes to another country and the game starts all over again.







    Apple needs to tie performance of OS X with a special hardware feature that can't be duplicated in software. Sure OS X will run on PC's, but very very slowly.



    I always advocated a OS X demo program for Windows, this way people can try before they buy.



    People who are not into computers and like to use them are afraid of change. It's the learning curve problem. Shorten that and Mac sales would jump considerably.



    That and paying attention to business and government markets.
  • Reply 6 of 44
    Keep your foot on the pedal and don't let up Apple. Destroy them.
  • Reply 7 of 44
    jukesjukes Posts: 213member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by MacTripper View Post


    Apple needs to tie performance of OS X with a special hardware feature that can't be duplicated in software. Sure OS X will run on PC's, but very very slowly.



    Do you really need to be told _once again_ why this isn't likely to happen? Oh well, it's less typing to just 'User CP -> Edit Ignore List -> Add Member To Your List...'.
  • Reply 8 of 44
    gazoobeegazoobee Posts: 3,754member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by MacTripper View Post


    It's that Apple can't, the company is intentionally broke....



    Agreed.



    But how much is the law a complete ass here though in that you have a company doing obviously illegal nefarious, and underhanded things. They get taken to court about it but that doesn't stop them doing these things for the entire duration of the legal action. During the legal action they violate the law yet again, albeit in a slightly different way. After which they end up losing, but not losing any money. They get a years worth of free publicity and the litigant gets no guarantee that they won't do it again.



    I know Apple is the "big guy" in this situation but suppose the IP belonged to a smaller one or two person company? To me it's crazy that any of this even happened and totally unfair to Apple in every way.



    Psystar's business should have been completely suspended for the duration of the trial and part of the settlement should be a cessation of all activities like Rebel EFI, and a guarantee that they will never do anything like this again in any country or help anyone else do so. The litigants are millions of dollars out of pocket and Psystar gets a slap on the wrist basically. Again, Apple can afford it, but what about companies that cannot?
  • Reply 9 of 44
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by MacTripper View Post


    I always advocated a OS X demo program for Windows, this way people can try before they buy.



    People who are not into computers and like to use them are afraid of change. It's the learning curve problem. Shorten that and Mac sales would jump considerably.



    Oddly, I actually like this idea. There are already "Windows" installations of Linux flavors out there (Google: WUBI) for you to test drive the Linux OS, why not the same technology for a stripped down version of OS X to give windows users a taste.



    Of course, I think that's the idea with the current offering of iTunes, Safari, and QuickTime on Windows, to preview what things are like on a Mac (and has anyone noticed just how hard iTunes on Windows sucks in terms of performance? Definitely faster on a Mac... I just hope it wasn't engineered that way.)



    Then again, I am a huge fan of "Just let us install it on a standard PC already" with out any kind of support from Apple. We all know it will never happen though.
  • Reply 10 of 44
    hillstoneshillstones Posts: 1,490member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by old-wiz View Post


    I would think Apple would want to demand that there be a full trial for damages that would totally gut Psystar. It sounds like nothing is going to happen to Psystar and they will be able to continue what they are doing now. They have no money they say, so they can't pay damages. There seems to be nothing to stop Psystar from continuing their business. Apple has spent lots of money on attorneys, and I would think they want something to show for it.



    You obviously don't understand court settlements, do you? Neither party, nor do the courts, want to spend money on going to trial. It is much more expensive than litigation and discovery. Apple can get what it wants without going to trial. Psystar will not be able to continue their business of selling PC's with OS X installed. You don't need a trial to stop someone from doing something.
  • Reply 11 of 44
    maestro64maestro64 Posts: 4,414member
    Not sure why Psystar was fighting so hard from this article it sounds like they shipped less then a 1000 units



    http://erictric.com/us/psystar-promi...sells-hundreds



    This company had illusions of grandeur, if they were selling units like the claimed to their investors I an understand the fight, but they were not making a penny on this. Either people stayed away from the company because of the law suite or people who buy apple are not looking for a low cost solutions.



    To all those critics that say apple should make a lower cost product, if the market was really looking for that why were they not flooding Psystar with orders.
  • Reply 12 of 44
    hillstoneshillstones Posts: 1,490member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by camroidv27 View Post


    why not the same technology for a stripped down version of OS X to give windows users a taste.



    Why would anyone want a stripped down version of OS X? How would that give them a "taste" of OS X? I understand PC users prefer cheap computers, so if they want something inexpensive, they can buy a Mac Mini if they want a "taste" of OS X.
  • Reply 13 of 44
    quadra 610quadra 610 Posts: 6,741member
    Seems Apple is saying "stop selling and we won't bury you."



    The Rebel EFI issue is interesting.
  • Reply 14 of 44
    rbonnerrbonner Posts: 635member
    This is like a great movie, but without a villain. I really want to know who the bond villain is, who has been funding Psystar from the start!!



    And I hope he is in a silver jacket with a cat.
  • Reply 15 of 44
    old-wizold-wiz Posts: 194member
    from adding more code to check for non-apple hardware and refuse to run.

    The people buying the stuff should know they will get no support from apple.
  • Reply 16 of 44
    tundraboytundraboy Posts: 1,597member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by MacTripper View Post


    I always advocated a OS X demo program for Windows, this way people can try before they buy.



    That is a great idea!
  • Reply 17 of 44
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by hillstones View Post


    Why would anyone want a stripped down version of OS X? How would that give them a "taste" of OS X? I understand PC users prefer cheap computers, so if they want something inexpensive, they can buy a Mac Mini if they want a "taste" of OS X.



    How about a "Try Before You Buy" idea, an experience you can try at home instead of having to go to the Apple store for a few hours. The mac mini is too pricey for just a taste for many people (especially for what it is).
  • Reply 18 of 44
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by hillstones View Post


    You obviously don't understand court settlements, do you? Neither party, nor do the courts, want to spend money on going to trial. It is much more expensive than litigation and discovery. Apple can get what it wants without going to trial. Psystar will not be able to continue their business of selling PC's with OS X installed. You don't need a trial to stop someone from doing something.



    Yes, but the prior summary judgement did that already. What's interesting here is that Apple doesn't seem to want to go to trial on the outstanding issues. Apple certainly wasn't as motivated to settle as Psystar was, at least on the face of it. I suspect it's got less to do with cost than it does with risk. If the judge should rule against Apple on any of the outstanding issues, then they'd have lost ground, and perhaps opened the door a crack to others who might try a similar scheme for selling Mac clones.
  • Reply 19 of 44
    So far I'm not seeing any news from Apple.



    From Groklaw:



    http://www.groklaw.net/article.php?s...09112603405262



    The latest motion seems more clear there.
  • Reply 20 of 44
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by mdriftmeyer View Post


    So far I'm not seeing any news from Apple.



    From Groklaw:



    http://www.groklaw.net/article.php?s...09112603405262



    The latest motion seems more clear there.



    Yes, but this thread is about an impending settlement. Nothing from Groklaw on that yet.
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