Judge gives Apple green light against Psystar

The automatic stay of proceedings has been lifted, giving Apple the go-ahead to continue its copyright infringement case against the Mac clone maker.

Apple wanted Psystar back in court, and now it's going to happen.

An automatic stay of proceedings imposed when Psystar filed for bankruptcy in May has been lifted by the court, according court documents shared with CNET News.

Judge Robert A. Mark, who serves the Southern District of Florida U.S. Bankruptcy Court, lifted the stay on Friday, opening the door for Apple to continue its copyright infringement case against the company.

Apple made a strong case for having the stay lifted, noting that Psystar filed for bankruptcy after a motion was granted compelling Psystar to give Apple additional documents. The bankruptcy filing also came just before a scheduled deposition from Psystar.

Apple cleared the way for the bankruptcy court to lift the stay by agreeing that it would not try to collect any monetary damages against Psystar if it won the infringement case. That was also a condition imposed by Judge Mark in making his ruling.

It seems clear that Apple feels it has a strong enough case against Psystar to win a favorable ruling or it would not be pushing so hard to get the case back in court.

Apple insists that its Mac OS X license agreement (PDF), which users must agree to before installing, should stand up to the court's scrutiny. In fact, the agreement clearly states that the operating system can only be installed on an Apple-labeled computer. That should leave any clone maker without a leg to stand on.

Apple has been dealing with several clone companies this year, but the Psystar case is the furthest along, so it makes sense for Apple to see it through.

If Apple were able to get a favorable ruling, it could use that precedent as a deterrent against other companies that want to get into the Mac clone business. RussianMac and PearC have started selling clones in Russian and Germany, respectively, and Quo Computer opened the first Mac clone retail store in Los Angeles.

About the author

Jim Dalrymple has followed Apple and the Mac industry for the last 15 years, first as part of MacCentral and then in various positions at Macworld. Jim also writes about the professional audio market, examining the best ways to record music using a Macintosh. He is a member of the CNET Blog Network and is not an employee of CNET. He currently runs The Loop.

 

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