Apple and Psystar have agreed to pursue a mediated settlement to their legal dispute over Psystar's Open Computers.
The Mac Observer turned up a court filing from earlier this month in the Apple-Psystar case noting that the two parties have agreed to participate in the Alternative Dispute Resolution process. As you may recall, for copyright infringement after Psystar began selling low-cost Open Computers with Mac OS X preinstalled. on antitrust grounds.
ADR, as it is known, is a way to bypass the costly legal process as well as keep the outcome private, which is one of Apple's favorite words. I downloaded the document in question from the U.S. District Court of Northern California's Web site (click here for PDF), and it says that Apple and Psystar have agreed to three portions of the ADR process: non-binding arbitration, early neutral evaluation, and mediation. The parties have agreed to hold their sessions by January 31, 2009.
It's not exactly clear what Apple and Psystar are thinking with the decision to choose this path. If Apple loses the case, and, it won't really matter if the outcome is kept private, since the availability of Open Computers will tell the tale. If Psystar is forced to stop selling Open Computers with Mac OS, we'll likewise notice that.
Psystar hasto use on its behalf, despite hiring a big-time Silicon Valley law firm to represent it against Apple. So it might very well be interested in a cheaper method of resolving the dispute, especially if Apple has the upper hand.
And Apple may very well not want to concede in a public courtroom that Psystar has a chance of proving its antitrust claim that the relevant market for this case is Mac OS computers, rather than just personal computers in general. That could hurt Apple in other antitrust cases it's facing regarding iTunes and the iPhone.